“Coronavirus patients are showing up in emergency rooms after calling 911 from the US-Mexico border.”
“What is happening here is a combination of increased testing — we’re able to test a great deal more Americans than we were able to several months ago — but it also may be indication that as we’re opening our economy up, that younger Americans have been congregating in ways that may have disregarded the guidance that we gave on the federal level for all the phases of reopening,” Vice-President Mike Pence said on “Face the Nation” on Sunday.
“It’s clear across the Sunbelt that there’s something happening, particularly among younger Americans,” Pence said.
No… what is happening here is that if parts of the Bill of Rights are suspended once again for Americans, we, in the imperial city and the MSM, want you to blame “younger Americans”. The blame game is always important and we in the executive, legislative and judicial branches of the federal government that have refused to secure our borders do not want to take any responsibility. So to reiterate, and you’ll being hearing this a lot, it’s those young Americans fault. It has absolutely nothing to do with “Coronavirus patients… showing up in emergency rooms after calling 911 from the US-Mexico border.” And as an aside, if you are a loser, you might want to, if you haven’t already, consider blaming systemic racism for your station in life. Easier on the ego when you look in the mirror.
By Catherine E. Shoichet, CNN Updated 7:24 AM ET, Mon June 29, 2020
(CNN) – Chris Van Gorder says he’s seeing a telling trend in the hospitals he runs.
Coronavirus patients are showing up in emergency rooms after calling 911 from the US-Mexico border.
An ambulance crosses the San Ysidro sentry box border crossing on April 27, 2020 in Tijuana, Mexico.
“They’ll literally come to the border and call an ambulance,” says Van Gorder, president and CEO of Scripps Health, a hospital system in southern California.
The rise in ambulance traffic from the border, which several officials described to CNN, is a symptom of the pandemic’s spread in the region — and a sign of the many connections between communities in both countries.
“There just is not a wall for viruses at the border,” says Josiah Heyman, director of the Center for Inter-American and Border Studies at the University of Texas at El Paso. “The wall is an illusion, because the two sides are really woven together.”
An increase in cross-border coronavirus cases, which began getting public attention in May, overwhelmed some California hospitals and spurred the state to create a new patient transfer system to help.
“It’s an unprecedented surge across the border,” says Carmela Coyle, president and CEO of the California Hospital Association.
In the past five weeks, more than 500 patients have been transferred to hospitals across the state from California’s Imperial County, which has the state’s highest per capita rate of coronavirus cases — and, according to officials, has seen a large number of patients crossing from Mexico.
But Van Gorder, Coyle and other officials in California say this isn’t an immigration issue.
Most of the coronavirus patients crossing the border, they say, are Americans.
In a call with state hospital leaders earlier this month, the head of California’s emergency medical services authority, Dr. David Duncan, described the steady stream of patients coming to Imperial County as “gas on the fire.”
“We’ve got this continual flow of Covid coming across the border in the form of US citizens that carry and continue to escalate and fuel the Covid pressures that we see,” Duncan said.
Sergio A. Beltrán, US Customs and Border Protection’s officer in charge for the Calexico ports of entry, said in a statement to CNN that he started to see an increasing flow of people coming across the border for medical care a few months ago.
“While it varies from day to day, and shift to shift, we have experienced a significant increase in medical-related calls at the Calexico ports of entry that can be directly linked to the COVID-19 pandemic over the last couple of months,” he said. “We’re definitely seeing people on a daily basis. And we still have our regular medical-related calls that aren’t COVID-related from people in accidents or having other medical issues and are coming for medical treatment in the US.”
Sometimes people walk to the port of entry or drive themselves to the border crossing, then call for an ambulance to get them to a US medical facility when they arrive. And sometimes, he said, travelers arrive at the border in Mexican ambulances and have already arranged for US ambulances to meet them there.
About 90 miles to the west, Scripps Mercy Hospital Chula Vista, which is across the border from Tijuana, was also seeing cases starting to climb.
Officials began tracking the travel histories of patients there, and quickly spotted a trend: Many had recently been in Mexico.
“About half the patients that are testing positive are indicating they’ve crossed the border within the previous week,” Van Gorder says.
“The patients that cross the border appear to be sicker than the patients that we’ve normally been seeing,” he says. “It may be that they waited in Mexico too long, or they went to a Mexican hospital and decided to get their care here.”
‘It’s almost like a waterfall cascading’
The flow of patients across the border has been steady for weeks, says Coyle of the California Hospital Association. And now hospitals across the state — including as far north as Sacramento — are taking in coronavirus patients from Imperial County as part of a new patient transfer system set up to ease the pressure, Coyle said.
A challenge across the region, she says, is that so many patients are sick with the same condition, requiring the same equipment for treatment, at the same time.
“That is what driving the shortages of service and supply in Mexicali, driving these expats back to the United States and then driving a very unique movement of patients into and more broadly across the state of California,” she says. “It’s almost like a waterfall cascading.”
Even though the US-Mexico border has been closed to all but essential travel since March, thousands of people still cross daily.
Van Gorder says he’s concerned that officials are moving too quickly towards reopening.
“We still don’t have our arms completely around Covid and the Covid spread,” he says. “And as a border community, I think we have a double risk.”
On Friday Gov. Gavin Newsom said the percentage of positive coronavirus tests in Imperial County was so high that he was recommending that officials reinstate a stay-at-home order there. State officials have said US citizens crossing into California for medical care are among the factors driving the uptick. The governor said Friday that “it’s too early to tell” if the high number of cases in neighboring Arizona are also a contributing factor , adding that a “deep dive” study by the CDC is underway.