Source: Jose Nino
While the media and the political class flail their arms in disbelief at the increase of Wuhan virus related hospitalizations in Texas, Daniel Horowitz of the Conservative Review offers a more sober take regarding this uptick in hospitalizations.
Horowitz explained that the increase in cases is concentrated in border countries:
The three Rio Grande Valley counties – Starr, Hidalgo, and Cameron – have 1,139 hospitalizations currently listed as COVID-19 patients. In total, as of yesterday, they had 4,070 active cases when combining the county dashboard data of the three counties. That is a 29% hospitalization-to-case ratio. As of June 27, that rate for the country was 5.8% (14.7K hospitalizations out of roughly 253,000 active cases).
The conservative commentator added that “The three border counties are 4.4 percent of Texas’ population but account for 12 percent of the hospitalizations.”
Such a weird number of cases popping up near the border suggests that the Mexican side of the border may be what explains this surge in cases.
Horowitz observed a common thread in the increase of cases in border areas in both California and Texas:
The rate of increase in positive tests has also grown five times quicker in Hidalgo County, the main border county in southeast Texas, than in Harris County (Houston). The same dynamic is playing out on California’s border with Mexico, where the border areas of San Diego County have the most cases per capita.
The Conservative Review editor highlighted how “The Tijuana-California border as well as the Hidalgo County, Texas-Mexico border have the most cross-border travel from citizens on both sides.”
In addition, Horowitz offered a comparison between New Mexico and Texas:
The shocking contrast to these three border states is the fourth one – New Mexico. New Mexico has barely experienced any deaths outside the Indian reservation areas and never experienced the hospitalization surge in June. New Mexico is the perfect control group when studying the effects of the border. The demographics are similar to the other three states, as are the weather and latitude. However, the difference is that although three counties in New Mexico touch the Mexican border, there is absolutely no civilization in the Mexican desert across the border. You have to travel much farther east to Juarez before you get to a city.
Horowitz provided a comparative breakdown of the Wuhan virus’s impact in both Texas and New Mexico:
The contrasting data are jarring. Doña Ana County, New Mexico’s main border county, experienced just 11 deaths. That is 1/10 the number of El Paso deaths (111), even though El Paso County is only three times larger, and 1/7 the number of deaths (71) in Cameron County (Brownsville), which is only two times larger.
On top of that, Horowitz added some perspective to the reopening debate which is often ignored:
The notion that the reopening and not the border is the culprit for the spike in the three other border states is absurd. As Axios showed, Arizona experienced one of the most severe slowdowns in social mobility, and its shutdown appears to be much deeper than New Mexico’s. Moreover, California had the strictest and longest lockdown. L.A. still has severe restrictions to this day, yet it reported 65 deaths on Wednesday.
What the media ultimately ignore is that states have taken more draconian measures against their own citizens, while the federal government has been derelict on the issue of border enforcement:
The real story is that while these politicians are busy infringing upon liberties of Americans, they forgot to do the one thing that actually helps: stop cross-border travel. In March, Governor Greg Abbott had no problem issuing a mandatory quarantine for those traveling back from California; Connecticut; New York; New Jersey; Washington; Atlanta, Georgia; Chicago, Illinois; Detroit, Michigan; or Miami, Florida. He even set up checkpoints on the roads leading into Texas from Louisiana to screen people and enforce the mandatory quarantine, as if Louisiana were an international border.
In the end, as Horowitz demonstrates, Americans get the short end of the stick:
Yet, to this day, when it comes to the international border itself, while the hospitals in Mexico are failing to cope with the peak that began in late May, states refuse to issue a mandatory quarantine. Now, Americans are getting blamed.
One of the least discussed aspects about immigration and border control is the potential for viral outbreaks to occur and spread. This should serve as a reminder to Americans that securing our borders is an issue of national integrity and social cohesion. Not doing so, will leave Americans vulnerable to epidemics and other elements of destabilization.