[In recent weeks, CIS National Security Fellow Todd Bensman has written a series of blog posts reporting about the extent to which Covid-infected patients from Mexico might be one of several causes behind sharply escalating border state hospitalizations. The following column, a compilation of known information about this unrecognized source of coronavirus patients, was published today at Townhall.]
Last month, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey uttered forbidden words that drew such hot-stove backlash that neither he nor any other border state governor has dared repeat them.
Mexican Covid patients with dual U.S. citizenship, Ducey told President Trump's coronavirus task force during a June 22 governor's conference call, were driving Arizona's spiking numbers by crossing the border and "seeking the superior healthcare of our system in our border counties."
The punditocracy came for Ducey, their xenophobia and racism daggers unsheathed. The governor's "vile comments," wrote State Sen. Martin Quezada (D-Glendale) in The Tucson Sentinel, "directly endanger the lives of people like me and people who look like me." The Arizona Republic's Elvia Diaz scoffed in a June 23 column that Ducy's "blame the Mexicans routine" was intended to distract from the one true cause of the state's Covid case escalation: his relaxation of lockdown and Memorial Day restrictions. "Blaming the Mexicans, Mexico or even Americans with dual citizenship in Mexico for the Covid-19 uptick," she wrote, "is laughable at best."
Gov. Ducey shut up. But not Trump. On Wednesday, the president blamed an influx from Mexico, among other causes, for the current outbreak spread. Good, because the cumulative evidence is all on their side, according to a content analysis of Mexican and U.S. media reporting, public statements of officials, and hospitalization data. Collectively, it shows that a significant but unknown percentage of severely ill dual Mexican-American citizens, legal permanent residents, Mexican visa-holders of various sorts infected inside Mexico, and yes, illegal immigrants, in May began flooding over the California border to escape besieged Baja State hospitals. The Covid refugee flow continued into Arizona border hospitals as the Mexico contagion swept eastward through Sonora, Coahuila, and then to Texas as Tamaulipas hospitals broke down in June and into July. Before this southern wave washed northward, Trump administration officials privately fretted and planned for it. But, when their communications leaked, Latino advocacy groups roundly pilloried them as xenophobic.
And so the flow continues, protected by a cocoon of political fear and denialism. . . .