Chuck Schumer is calling for the ATF and CDC to help investigate American deaths in the Dominican Republic

Following the death of several American citizens in the...

Posted: Jul 1, 2019 3:51 AM
Updated: Jul 1, 2019 4:02 AM

Following the death of several American citizens in the Dominican Republic, Sen. Chuck Schumer said Sunday he wants the government to boost its investigation efforts to get "to the bottom of things."

"With the spate of sicknesses & deaths of New Yorkers & Americans vacationing in the Dominican Republic," the Senate minority leader and Democrat from New York said on Twitter, "The federal government must double its efforts on getting to the bottom of things."

At least 10 American citizens have died after an apparent sudden health issue in the Dominican Republic since June 2018.

Schumer suggested the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) -- a federal agency which is heavily involved in the aftermath of mass shootings and crimes involving firearms -- should get involved as well as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"ATF & more CDC experts should help the FBI with fact-finding. Now," the politician said.

The FBI currently has a team in the Dominican Republic assisting with toxicology tests of three American deaths, some of which could be related to alcohol. The US Embassy announced the agency's involvement in early June and said results may take up to 30 days.

The most recent American to die in the Caribbean country, New Yorker Vittorio Caruso, died from respiratory and heart failure after a long history of related health problems, the Dominican Republic's Attorney General's office said, citing a preliminary autopsy report.

A US official said earlier this month there has not been an unusual uptick in reported deaths in the Dominican Republic and the US has not issued a travel warning.

The 10 deaths, US and local officials have said, are not related.

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