EDINBURG, Texas – The Wall Street Journal has posted an editorial about the surge in COVID-19-related deaths and hospitalizations in Hidalgo County.

The newspaper says stories and data from Hidalgo paint a grim picture. “Hospitalizations in the Lower Rio Grande Valley have increased 55-fold over the last two months compared to six-fold statewide and in Houston. The region now has about as many Covid-19 hospitalized patients per capita as New York City did at its peak.”

The newspaper pointed out that with three of the state’s population, Hidalgo County accounted for a quarter of COVID-related deaths in Texas this past week. 

“Most hospitals serve mostly low-income patients, and more than 80% are uninsured or on Medicaid. Many have underlying conditions like diabetes that exacerbate Covid-19 and require more hospital support. Large multigenerational households make social distancing a challenge, and most workers can’t work from home.”

The WSJ editorial board says the media have “flogged” Gov. Greg Abbott for reopening Texas too soon. However, the newspaper says lockdowns were unsustainable and especially damaging to low-income families. It states that unemployment in Hidalgo was 6.7% in February—nearly twice the statewide rate—and shot up to 17.7% in May.

“Flare-ups are inevitable once lockdowns are lifted, and Hidalgo’s outbreak was especially hard to prevent since cases have been largely tied to family clusters. Nobody should expect governors to be oracles, but Mr. Abbott could have responded more quickly to pleas from local officials and health-care providers,” the editorial stated.

The editorial is titled: “Covid S.O.S. in Hidalgo – A warning about the need to surge help to coronavirus hot spots.”

Thank you to reader Salomon Torres for alerting us to The Wall Street Journal editorial. Click here to read it. 

Editor’s Note: The main image accompanying the above news clips shows McAllen Medical Center. Rio Grande Guardian reporter Bill Rovira says the hospital is currently conspicuous for three floors of white windows, in place because of the positive pressure infection control measures. 

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