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U.S. Tops 100,000 Coronavirus Cases, Testing Kits, Equipment Still In Short Supply

The United States on Friday surpassed more than 100,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases, doubling the number of known infections counted just three days ago. Data from Johns Hopkins University , which has been tracking the global spread of the disease, shows 101,657 people have been diagnosed in the U.S. as of Friday evening. More than 1,560 people have died. The troubling milestone comes a day after the U.S. infection toll rose above that of Italy and China, where the virus was first detected. It...

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Featured Story

What's In The $2 Trillion Bill For Health Care?

Most of the gargantuan sum of money in the coronavirus bill Congress just passed is dealing with the economic crisis, not the public health one. "Most of the bill is on emergency relief to people and unemployment insurance," says Loren Adler , associate director of USC-Brookings Schaeffer Initiative for Health Policy. "The health care provisions are, in some sense, secondary." For health, the biggest ticket item is $100 billion for hospitals and health care providers. Professor Lindsay Wiley ...

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SANTA FE – New Mexico state health officials on Monday announced 13 additional positive tests for COVID-19.  Per the state Department of Health, the most recent cases are:

Five new cases in Bernalillo County:

  • A male in his 20s
  • A female in her 40s
  • A male in his 40s
  • A female in her 70s
  • A female in her 80s

One new case in Eddy County:

  • ​A male in his 70s – deceased. As previously reported Wednesday by the Department of Health, this individual died Sunday, March 22. The state laboratory confirmed a positive COVID-19 test late Tuesday, March 24, after receiving it the same day.

Two new cases in Rio Arriba County:

  • A male in his 60s
  • A female in her 70s

One new case in Sandoval County:

  • A female in her 30s

One new case in San Juan County:

  • A male in his 30s

Three new cases in Santa Fe County:

  • A female in her 40s
  • A female in her 50s
  • A male in his 70s

Deming Woman Charged With Marijuana Smuggling

Mar 25, 2020

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Nancy Edith Duarte-Lujan, 39, of Deming, New Mexico, appeared in federal court in Las Cruces, New Mexico today for an initial appearance on a criminal complaint charging her with conspiracy and possession with intent to distribute marijuana.

According to the criminal complaint, Duarte-Lujan allegedly tried to enter the United States on March 23 at the port of entry in Columbus, New Mexico with a large quantity of marijuana concealed in the spare tire, fenders, back seat and tailgate of the truck she was driving. U.S. Customs and Border Protection arrested Duarte-Lujan following an inspection of her vehicle. 

The Bulletin On The Radio

Mar 25, 2020

  Every week, KRWG News provides a preview of the stories in The Las Cruces Bulletin.

 

New Mexico Announces First Death Due To COVID-19

Mar 25, 2020

SANTA FE – The New Mexico Department of Health on Wednesday announced the state’s first death related to COVID-19.

Per the state Department of Health, a male in his late 70s in Eddy County died Sunday, March 22, at Artesia General Hospital.

On March 22, he went to the hospital, where his condition deteriorated rapidly. He died the same day. 

Silver City Report

Mar 25, 2020


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The University of New Mexico is postponing its spring commencement due to the coronavirus pandemic.  

The university said President Garnett Stokes will seek student input as he considers when to reschedule the commencement that had been scheduled for May 16 and how it will be conducted.

Stokes said the decision to postponement is regrettable and that he knows its a memorable part of graduates' university experience.  

LAS CRUCES, N.M. (Las Cruces Sun-News) — The family of a boy is suing a police officer who mistakenly fired his weapon inside a southern New Mexico middle school and nearly hit the student.

The family recently filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court against officer Francisco Estrada and the Las Cruces Police Department.

According to court documents, the bullet came within inches of striking a 13-year-old student.

The lawsuit says the bullet came so close that the boy's hearing was damaged.

Las Cruces RoadRUNNER Transit Running On Reduced Schedule

Mar 24, 2020

  In continued efforts to limit large public gatherings and in response to a reduction in bus operators, the City of Las Cruces RoadRUNNER Transit and Dial-a-Ride now has a reduced weekday service schedule and will further alter Saturday service hours beginning March 28. 

 

Weekday service operates from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday.  Dial-a-Ride will operate on the same schedule and customers are asked to contact Dial-a-Ride at 541-2777. The Mesilla Valley Intermodal Transportation Terminal will be open during these new reduced operation hours. 

cdc

  On Tuesday, two male employees of The University of Texas at El Paso tested positive for COVID-19. Here is a statement from UTEP:

The employees traveled to an out-of-town event and returned to El Paso on Thursday, March 12.

Both employees are in self isolation and recovering at home.

Campus officials and support services are in contact by phone with the employees on a daily basis.

One of the employees had limited access into the Foster Stevens Basketball Center and the Larry K. Durham Sports Center on March 13. Both facilities have been isolated and have been cleaned regularly with disinfectant.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The state Supreme Court halted all housing evictions for failure to pay rent as state investment authorities agreed to offer $100 million in recovery loans to struggling businesses amid economic turmoil from the coronavirus pandemic.

The investment council overseen by New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham controls a $24 billion portfolio of investments that support public education.

On Tuesday, it voted unanimously to channel assets from the state's Severance Tax Permanent Fund to provide emergency recovery loans.

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E-mail Viewpoints to: feedback@nmsu.edu

 

Commentary: In response to a critical shortage of ventilators needed to keep severe COVID-19 patients breathing, President Donald Trump ordered General Motors to produce the life-saving machines under the Defense Production Act. The Department of Health and Human Services will be responsible for implementation of and follow through on that order. 

In response, Matthew Wellington, Public Health Campaigns Director for U.S. PIRG, issued the following statement:

“It's about time we got serious about ramping up ventilator supply, and we need to do more. Health experts say we don’t have enough ventilators -- machines used to help people struggling to breathe -- to treat the projected number of COVID-19 patients. From Seattle to Detroit to New York, hospitals are preparing for the worst-case scenarios. 

Laura Paskus, New Mexico In Depth

  Commentary: James Jimenez, executive director of New Mexico Voices for Children, issued the following statement regarding upcoming lease sales for oil and gas extraction on federal lands in New Mexico:

 

“While New Mexico families are focused on making sure their loved ones are safe and healthy during this fast-moving crisis, other problems are brewing at the state level that may cause pain for years to come. Plummeting oil and gas prices are draining the state budget of funds needed for public safety, health care, education, and more. Actions by the Trump Administration will make this long-term revenue crisis worse.

 

  Commentary: In this time of fear, chaos and uncertainty, a choice must be made in the heart of every individual — to abandon one’s principles to fear, or to hold firm to them. The Libertarian Party seeks always to lead by example, and we choose to hold firm to ours.

One of the core principles of libertarianism is that governments should not pick winners and losers. Instead, the free market should make that determination. All efforts by the government to redistribute wealth inevitably result in favoritism towards the politically well-connected.

Commentary: While the Affordable Care Act and the expansion of Medicaid in our state has brought many successes, COVID-19 has exposed major holes in our health care system and social safety net. Bold action is needed to ensure that New Mexicans have the resources they need. The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) was a critical first step in this effort.

However, additional steps will be necessary. The State of New Mexico, local clinics, and the New Mexicans who are weathering this crisis need more resources to ensure an adequate response. To that end, Health Action New Mexico has developed a series of health-related recommendations to help individuals and families access care and feel more financially secure, bolster the state’s capacity to respond, and assist clinics who help vulnerable populations. While this is by no means a comprehensive list of the steps necessary to address this crisis, it represents a critically-needed response to health coverage and access issues facing New Mexico and the United States.

Commentary: If you have not read Max Boot’s column “The coronavirus shows how backward the United States has become” (Washington Post, 18 March), you need to.  It details the many ways in which the United States, instead of being the world’s leader as the world’s richest country, is middling among the world’s wealthiest countries (OECD).

One damning paragraph reads:

Our health-care failures are particularly important now. We spend more on health care than any other country in the world, but we are the only OECD country without universal medical coverage (27.9 million Americans lacked health insurance in 2018). Child mortality in the United States is the highest in the OECD, and life expectancy is below average. We have far fewer hospital beds per capita than other advanced democracies (2.4 compared to 12.2 in South Korea), which makes us particularly vulnerable to a pandemic.

More Viewpoints
Join Fred Martino for the region's in-depth television news Thursday at 7pm, Saturday at 5pm and Sunday at 11am on KRWG-TV. E-mail story ideas to feedback@nmsu.edu
The people and issues in our growing border communities.  Watch Fronteras Thursday at 7:30pm, Saturday at 5:30pm, and Sunday at 11:30am on KRWG-TV.
Living Here appears on KRWG-TV's Newsmakers and is also featured during occasional special programs.  
Community Connection features local nonprofits and government programs that are making a difference in our region.  Do you have suggestion?  E-mail feedback@nmsu.edu

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FACT CHECK: Trump Compares Coronavirus To The Flu, But It Could Be 10 Times Deadlier

In arguing for returning the country to some kind of normal sooner rather than later, President Trump noted that 36,000 people, on average, die from the flu each year. "But we've never closed down the country for the flu," the president said during an appearance on Fox News on Tuesday. "So you say to yourself, 'What is this all about?' " But the two really can't be compared. They are very different and present different kinds of dangers. Here's how they are different, per a story done four...

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