Joaquin Castro says stepmother has died of coronavirus

Politics

Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-Texas, said late Thursday that his stepmother had died from the coronavirus.

“My stepmom, Alice Guzman, passed away today from COVID-19,” Castro wrote on Twitter along with a photo of Guzman with Castro’s daughter.”

He said Guzman and his father had been married for 31 years.

“Alice…was a warm, loving person and we’ll miss her incredibly,” he added. “My heart goes out to the families who’ve lost loved ones to this terrible illness.”

Cases have surged across the United States with the number of confirmed cases surpassing 3 million Wednesday as states start to reopen businesses.

Castro is a native of San Antonio, Texas, and represents the state’s 20th District, which includes part of San Antonio. The state reported a record 105 deaths Thursday after reporting a record 98 deaths Wednesday. Castro didn’t specify if his stepmother lived in Texas.

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The congressman has been vocal in his criticism of President Trump’s response to the pandemic. In April, he said people had “needlessly suffered and died” of the virus because of the president and the administration’s lack of preparation for the outbreak.

“Based on everything that I’ve seen, they should have known exactly what was going on, should have prepared better for it and should have established the infrastructure early on to deal with it,” Castro told MSNBC. “The president didn’t do any of that and here we are now.”

Last month, he called on Immigration and Customs Enforcement to release detainees vulnerable to the virus.

“The conditions are bad. These people are living in a petri dish,” Castro said in a conference call with reporters about two Texas detention centers, the Texas Tribune reported.

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Castro’s twin brother Julian Castro, former secretary of HUD who ran for president last year, commented: “May she Rest In Peace.”

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