Covid Crossing: Pandemic Raises Concerns on Southern Border

The Covid-19 pandemic has slammed the U.S. in the last two weeks, but quietly the virus is also growing south of the border. At the start of this week, Mexico reported nearly 2,500 confirmed cases of Covid-19, more than double from a week earlier. Right now, Mexico appears to be a few weeks behind the U.S. in the progression of the virus, which portends an explosion in cases there in the next couple of weeks.

Making matters even more risky is Mexico's woefully unprepared public health system. John Daniel Davidson, senior fellow at the Texas Public Policy Foundation, recently wrote about this growing threat south of our border. "The healthcare infrastructure in Mexico is really sparse and underfunded," says Davidson. "As an example, New York City has about 6,000 ventilators, and the entire public health system in Mexico--a country of 130 million people--has less than 6,000."

Davidson tells KTRH that Mexico is already way behind the Covid-19 curve, thanks to poor leadership. "A couple of weeks ago, when it was crucial that countries prepare and institute travel restrictions, the president of Mexico did not do any of those things, and kept encouraging people to go out," he says.

President Trump recently enacted a ban on all non-essential travel across the border, which has brought border crossings to their lowest level in months. "Right now, all people caught crossing between ports of entry by border patrol are being returned if they are from Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, or El Salvador," says Davidson. "And they're being returned on average in 96 minutes, which is a big change from how things were."

Still, Davidson believes the U.S. needs more cooperation from Mexico on border security, in order to prevent Covid-19 cases from spilling into our country. "We really need to have a partner on our southern border in Mexico, that we can reliably collaborate and cooperate with on border security," he says. "And we haven't had that, and we don't have that now."

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