WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar is to host a town hall meeting to plan Laredo’s response to coronavirus.

Representatives from the city’s public entities, including its health department, will meet with officials from the U.S. Border Patrol, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Texas A&M International University, Laredo Community College, Laredo ISD, United ISD, Laredo Medical Center, Doctors Hospital, and Gateway Community Health Center.

The town hall meeting is to take place on Friday, March 13, at 11 a.m., at the Laredo Fire Administration Building, 616 E. Del Mar Boulevard. The press and public are invited.

As of Wednesday there are no known cases of coronavirus in Laredo.

Cuellar spoke about the virus in a conference call with reporters on Wednesday. He was joined on the call by Laredo Mayor Pete Saenz and Nuevo Laredo Mayor Enrique Rivas Cuellar. Laredo and Nuevo Laredo leaders are in Washington, D.C. for their annual trip to the nation’s capital. They have an extensive federal legislative agenda.

Cuellar had to leave the conference call towards the end to work on coronavirus legislation. The multi-billion dollar bill has emergency provisions that include paid sick leave, widespread free testing, food aid and unemployment insurance.

In the conference call, Rivas said he opposed closing the U.S.-Mexico border. Rep. Cuellar said President Trump often blames Mexico and noted there are very few reported cases in that country.

“There is no need to panic,” said Mayor Saenz.

The above podcast features those parts of the conference call that dealt with the coronavirus.

Editor’s Note: Credit for the main image accompanying the above news story goes to Teclo Garcia, economic development director for the City of Laredo.

Editor’s Note: Originally, Congressman Cuellar said the town hall meeting would be held at Gateway Community Health Center, 1515 Pappas Street. An earlier version of this story said as much. However, the venue has been changed to the Laredo Fire Administration Building, 616 E. Del Mar Boulevard.