Americans warned of ‘Pearl Harbor moment’ as Trump tells parts of the nation to brace for ‘peak’

WASHINGTON POST: Americans are being advised to steel themselves for one of the most agonizing weeks in living memory, as President Trump and his advisers predicted parts of the country were nearing a peak of cases of covid-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

The president at Sunday’s White House coronavirus task force briefing hailed numbers from New York showing a one-day decline in deaths while warning of New York and New Jersey, “they’ve really become a very hot zone.”

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U.S. Prepares for ‘Hardest and Saddest’ Week as Coronavirus Death Toll Nears 10,000

WALL STREET JOURNAL: Around the world, countries are steeling themselves for a surge of coronavirus infections as the U.S. anticipates its most difficult week yet of the health crisis.

U.S. infections rose to more than 337,000 Monday, with the death toll at 9,648, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Surgeon General Jerome Adams said Sunday that this week would be “the hardest and saddest week of most Americans’ lives” as infection cases are expected to peak in some of the hardest-hit cities, including New York.

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Texas Gets Double Punch From Coronavirus and Oil Shock. ‘There’s No Avoiding This One.’

WALL STREET JOURNAL: Texas had one of the best economic records of any U.S. state after the 2008 financial crisis. In this crisis, it faces the prospect of a deep and prolonged downturn.

The Lone Star State is exposed to many of the pandemic and shutdown’s economic ill consequences, with three cities—Austin, Houston and Dallas—home to an abundance of service-sector jobs, especially at risk. A downturn in the oil industry and other businesses big in Texas, including airlines and ports, will likely amplify its pain. Industry analysts expect the oil downturn to outlast the current viral outbreak.

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Mexico’s slow response to coronavirus has implications for Texas, U.S.

HOUSTON CHRONICLE: As its neighbors close borders, shut down their economies and order millions of people to stay at home, Mexico has responded far more slowly to the coronavirus pandemic, its leaders reluctant to put economic constraints on a society in which nearly half the people live in poverty.

As recently as March 15, some 40,000 concert goers crowded into the Foro Sor venue for the popular Vive Latino music festival. Tourists from Europe and the United States were able to enter the country without any restrictions until late last week. Restaurants, airports, subways and grocery stores remain open in Mexico City, though churches and large markets have closed.

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Major drug-gang shootout leaves 19 dead in northern Mexico

THE GUARDIAN: A major shootout between rival drug gangs has killed 19 people in the northern Mexico border state of Chihuahua, officials say.

The state prosecutors’ office said on Saturday that 18 corpses, two grenades, vehicles and guns were found at the scene of the clash in the hamlet of Chuchuichupa the township of Madera.

Two other men were found armed and wounded on the dirt road where the confrontation occurred late Friday. One died later at a hospital, and the other is in custody.

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How the coronavirus lockdown is hitting Mexico’s drug cartels

DEUTSCHE WELLE: There’s nothing you can’t find on Mexico City’s Tepito Market, locals say. In this maze of alleyways and stalls, you can buy anything from brand-name clothing, to flat-screen televisions, toys, glasses, drones, mobiles and much more. 

Wares produced in informal workshops are on offer, as are counterfeit consumer goods from China and even illegal drugs and weapons.

Tepito Market is controlled by a criminal gang called Union Tepito. And anyone wishing to sell products here must pay protection money. Each week, the mobsters rake in hundreds of thousands of pesos though this racket.

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Mexican president pitches frugal economic plan against coronavirus

REUTERS: Mexico’s president unveiled a plan on Sunday to lift the economy out of the coronavirus crisis, vowing to help the poor and create jobs, but his promise of fiscal discipline sparked criticism that the measures fell far short of what was needed.

President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador pledged Mexico would create 2 million new jobs in the next nine months and boost small business and housing loans. He also vowed to tighten public sector austerity to avoid debt.

Governments worldwide have unleashed unprecedented spending pledges to minimise damage to their economies from the coronavirus, including a $2-trillion package by Mexico’s top trading partner, the United States.

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Mexico: More social spending, no business bailout for virus

ASSOCIATED PRESS: Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said Sunday there will be no huge economic stimulus program as the country faces the threat of coronavirus-induced crisis almost certainly unlike any it has seen in the past century.

Instead, the administration will expand social programs, continue to prop up the heavily indebted state-owned oil company, deepen the government’s austerity campaign and do everything possible to avoid taking on more debt.

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Mexico slashes energy investment portfolio

ARGUS MEDIA: Mexico’s government cut its estimate for the worth of a portfolio of long-awaited energy investment plans amid the lowest crude prices in years and the coronavirus pandemic.

The country will next week announce energy investment projects to include “collaboration with the private sector” worth up to Ps339mn ($13.4bn), President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said in a quarterly address to the nation today.

The value of the plan declined from the government’s initial estimate of $100bn given late last year. Officials have provided few details about the initiative. More information was to be announced last in late February.

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Hecho en Mexico: the ventilator that may save your life

SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE: As San Diego hospitals brace for a critical shortage of ventilators, Tijuana business developers are racing against time to produce low-cost machines to meet the cross-border regional need.

Tijuana Mayor Arturo González said demand for ventilators to the city’s 48 medical device manufacturers has increased by 1,000 percent amid the worldwide coronavirus pandemic.

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Watch our interview with Judge Lina Hidalgo on coronavirus in Texas and its impact on Harris County

TEXAS TRIBUNE: Texas Tribune demographics reporter Alexa Ura sat down with Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo for a discussion on the impact of the novel coronavirus outbreak on one of the state’s largest counties and how her office has responded.

Here’s a look at some of Hidalgo’s responses to questions during the interview.

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Hidalgo Co. nears triple-digit COVID-19 cases

MCALLEN MONITOR:Thirteen more cases of COVID-19 in Hidalgo County were reported Sunday afternoon, bringing the total to 99.

The cases were reported to the county from late Friday through Sunday, according to a news release.

“As investigators dig deeper in all the known infections, they are beginning to discern patterns suggesting how the spread of the disease is unfolding in Hidalgo County,” Eddie Olivarez, the chief administrator of Hidalgo County’s Health and Human Services Department, stated in the news release. “Health officials now believe they are seeing 13 different clusters of infection that emanated from people who contracted the virus earlier but have since spread it to others.”

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Mask orders issued as RGV positive cases near 200

MCALLEN MONITOR; Cities throughout Hidalgo County began implementing more stringent requirements for those out in public as the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 continued to grow.

On Sunday, the cities of Mission and Elsa announced orders requiring the use of masks for people traveling outside their own dwelling.

Mission’s order was effective immediately while the order for the city of Elsa is effective 5 a.m. Monday.

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South Padre Island enforces a checkpoint

BROWNSVILLE HERALD: Cities in the Laguna Madre area are continuing to enact more safety measures to help hinder the spread of the coronavirus.

The city of South Padre Island began enforcing a checkpoint for motorists on Friday.

In addition to the checkpoint, extra cameras will be utilized to monitor traffic safety and beach activity.

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What to expect from the CARES Act recovery package

BROWNSVILLE HERALD: When President Donald Trump signed off on the $2 trillion CARES Act recovery package to help the nation weather the coronavirus-caused economic downturn, the largest stimulus package in history was on its way.

Part of the money allocated in that measure is coming directly to most Americans. Here are some questions and answers about what to expect.

Q: Who qualifies for this money?

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County’s virus cases up 10, hitting 87

VALLEY MORNING STAR: The number of COVID-19 cases in Cameron County spiked up again Sunday, with 10 more confirmed cases.

County officials made the announcement late Sunday afternoon, and it includes nine Brownsville residents and a man from Harlingen.

The rising coronavirus infection count brings Cameron County’s total of confirmed cases to 87. Eleven of those victims have been cleared.

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El Paso coronavirus update: COVID-19 cases rise to 115

EL PASO TIMES: There are 115 positive COVID-19 cases in El Paso County as of Sunday evening.

There are 10 cases in Juárez, part of 17 confirmed cases as of Sunday morning in the state of Chihuahua, including five in Chihuahua City, one in Cuauhtémoc and one in Ojinaga.

The Texas Department of State Health Services is reporting 6,110 cases in Texas and 105 confirmed coronavirus deaths in the state.

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Mexico’s president shifts tone on coronavirus as border states press for more restrictions

EL PASO TIMES: Mexican president Andrés Manuel López Obrador is taking a more serious stance in his approach to the coronavirus pandemic, asking Mexicans to stay home, but only after several weeks of intense criticism as he continued to dismiss recommendations by public health experts to curb the spread of the virus.

“This is a passing crisis, we will move forward,” he told reporters on Friday during his televised daily briefing. 

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With fears of COVID-19, homeless people may be safer on the streets rather than shelters

EL PASO TIMES: With fears of COVID-19 spread, John Martin, director of the Opportunity Center for the Homeless, is telling his clients that the streets of El Paso may be a safer space for them than crowded shelters.

The Opportunity Center can house more than 100 individuals, but now as the staff follows CDC guidelines they can only have 50 inside each of their two buildings.

With 161 residents the rest have to sleep under tents at the center’s parking lot.

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El Pasoans have reduced movements significantly in wake of COVID-19, Google reports

EL PASO MATTERS: Movement around El Paso County has declined sharply in recent weeks as local government implemented emergency orders aimed at slowing the spread of COVID-19, according to mobility data released by Google.

The tech giant published mobility data from around the globe as a tool for public health officials in developing policies to respond to the spread of the novel coronavirus, Google officials said in unveiling the tool. Click here for more information on how Google collected the data.

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Laredo confirms eight added coronavirus cases, 106 total

LAREDO MORNING TIMES: The City of Laredo and Webb County confirmed eight additional cases of COVID-19 on Sunday.

With the eight added cases, the city’s total breaks into the triple digits, with a total of 106 positive results recognized by the city thus far.

Further information was not immediately available on the cases.

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Texas troopers begin screening travelers from Louisiana

LAREDO MORNING TIMES: State troopers started stopping and screening travelers entering Southeast Texas from Louisiana on Sunday, in accordance with an executive order from Gov. Greg Abbott.

Troopers stopped vehicles at a visitors center on Interstate 10 near Orange, about 100 miles (160 kilometers) east of Houston, and required travelers to complete a travel form, said Texas Department of Public Safety Sgt. Stephanie Davis, who told KFDM-TV that no one was being turned back.

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