March 11, 2020

Castro Statement on Additional Evacuees Arriving at JBSA-Lackland

WASHINGTON—Congressman Joaquin Castro (TX-20), Chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, Vice Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, and member of the House Intelligence and Education and Labor Committees, today released the following statement upon the arrival of additional evacuees from the Grand Princess cruise ship in San Antonio:

“San Antonio has done its part to care for those in need. We have treated many individuals who have either tested positive for the coronavirus or been exposed to it over the course of the last several weeks. It is fitting that Texans help Texans, but I am still concerned about the lack of federal support San Antonio is receiving while still fighting at the frontlines of this crisis.

“Additional evacuees from the Grand Princess ship have made their way to JBSA-Lackland for federal quarantine. It’s important to note that nobody who has shown symptoms or who has tested positive for the coronavirus will be sent to San Antonio. About 90 of those individuals are natives of Texas. All in quarantine will remain at JBSA-Lackland per standard protocol, and anyone who may test positive down the road will be sent to TCID for specialized, isolated treatment.

“My primary concern will always be the safety and health of the people of San Antonio. My priorities from the federal government include: that all evacuees fly in and out of JBSA-Lackland, CDC provide medical procedures in writing to local officials, senior federal health officials lead on-the-ground to coordinate with local health officials, a response from the Department of Defense to our request that positive cases who don’t require hospitalization remain on base, and lastly, additional test kits for San Antonio.

“I have also requested another town hall from officials at JBSA-Lackland so that information is readily available to our community, which they have now scheduled. My office remains in touch with the CDC and local officials every single day, since we first learned of the plan to quarantine patients at Lackland. We are actively working with local officials to communicate the concerns of the community to the CDC.”

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