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Congresswoman Escobar Hosted Conversation with National Public Health Experts: What Does the El Paso Region Need to do to Aggressively Combat COVID-19?

El Paso, May 20, 2020
Congresswoman Escobar hosted a virtual conversation, themed “What Does the El Paso Region Need to do to Aggressively Combat COVID-19?” with two nationally recognized public health experts and more than 70 government, business and civic leaders from the Paso del Norte region.

Today, Congresswoman Veronica Escobar (TX-16) hosted a virtual conversation, themed “What Does the El Paso Region Need to do to Aggressively Combat COVID-19?” with two nationally recognized public health experts and more than 70 government, business and civic leaders from the Paso del Norte region.

Congresswoman Escobar was joined by James Hildreth, Ph.d, M.D., president and CEO of Meharry Medical College and leading HIV researcher, and Scott Gottlieb, M.D., resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and former Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration.

“As the Paso del Norte region charts out a path to safely reopen our economy while protecting our residents against the coronavirus pandemic, we must recognize the unique challenges we face,” said Congresswoman Escobar. “I am extremely grateful to Dr. James Hildreth and Dr. Scott Gottlieb for sharing critical information and knowledge about the tools our community can deploy and look forward to working with local leaders in creating a comprehensive strategy for our region.”

“Across the country, Latinos, African Americans, and other minority groups are being devastated by the coronavirus pandemic. That is why there needs to be a preemptive strategy to protect vulnerable populations and save lives,” said Dr. Hildreth. “It is unethical to reopen our economy without providing the resources and means to empower vulnerable populations to take care of themselves and their loved ones.”

“In order to reopen our economy, states must target resources to vulnerable populations and meet identifiable benchmarks to reduce the spread of coronavirus,” said Dr. Gottlieb. “To prevent additional outbreaks and another epidemic, communities must open in a prudent and staged fashion, after the sustained reduction in new cases and hospitalizations, and when communities have in place the tools to manage illnesses, screening capacity, and the ability to do tracking and tracing.”

Following their opening remarks, Dr. Gottlieb and Dr. Hildreth answered questions from a virtual audience composed of the region’s leaders, including County Judge Ricardo Samaniego, State Senator Jose Rodriguez, State Representatives Cesar Blanco and Mary Gonzalez, UTEP President Heather Wilson, El Paso Chamber of Commerce President and CEO David Jerome, and Medical Center of the Americas President Emma Schwartz.

The full video is available to watch here.

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