February 06, 2020

Castro Statement on Lackland Air Force Base and the Coronavirus Outbreak

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, released the following statement today on the coronavirus outbreak and San Antonio’s role in combatting the virus:

“Like other offices, my office and I first discovered that Lackland Air Force Base would house and quarantine evacuees from Wuhan, China through the press, not directly from the Administration. Failure to provide advance notice went against precedent, due process, and showed a complete disregard for the people of San Antonio. It represents the lack of preparation, disrespect, and lack of coordination by which this Administration operates. Since, my staff and I have been in touch with and briefed by federal agencies, including the Department of Defense, the State Department, Health and Human Services, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, and others on the situation at hand. Given that we proactively engaged them, we are continuing to get more information on behalf of the people of San Antonio about what’s going on.

“Despite the initial lack of communication, today I was fully briefed by members of the CDC and HHS. I am confident that the systems we have in place are entirely adequate, in addition to the competency of public health and security personnel on-the-ground who are managing Lackland Air Force Base. So far, 12 cases have been reported in six states in the United States: Arizona, California, Illinois, Washington, Massachusetts, and Wisconsin. I am also confident that the relevant agencies are well-prepared to take decisive and preemptive action to mitigate the threat and minimize the spread of the virus. Along with federal offices and our local government, I am working diligently to protect San Antonians and the American people from this virus and will be in touch with my constituents regularly with updates and information on the quarantine at JBSA.” 

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