Things That Matter

Biden Names Two Latinos To His Covid Task Force As His Team Grows

President Donald Trump has refused to concede the 2020 election but that hasn’t stopped President-elect Joe Biden. The soon-to-be 46th president of the United States is already building his teams, including his Covid-19 task force. Included are two major Latino physicians and health experts Dr. Robert Rodriguez and Dr. Luciana Borio.

President-elect Joe Biden has announced his Covid-19 task force.

President-elect Joe Biden is getting to work to assemble a team to tackle the unrelenting Covid-19 crisis in the U.S. The current crisis has been exacerbated by a lack of action from the current administration. As President Trump plans a series of legal battle hoping to overturn the election results, President-elect Biden is appealing to the American people.

In his first address to the American people as president-elect, Biden asked Americans to wear masks to bring the virus under control. The most important part was when President-elect Biden told the American people not to see the mask as a political statement.

“It doesn’t matter who you voted for, where you stood before Election Day. It doesn’t matter your party or your point of view,” Biden said in his address. “We can save tens of thousands of lives if everyone would just wear a mask for the next few months.”

President-elect Biden has tapped two Latino doctors to join his Covid-19 task force.

President Trump’s current Covid-19 task force has done little to control the virus. Vice President Mike Pence, who leads the task force, has gone on record lying that the pandemic was under control. He even went so far as to say that there is no second wave and that the media was overhyping the virus that has infected more than 10 million Americans and killed more than 240,000.

Dr. Robert Rodriguez, a professor at UCSF’s School of Medicine is part of the task force.

Dr. Rodriguez is originally from Texas and he left California to volunteer in his home state. The doctor went to Brownsville, Texas to help fight the deadly and terrifying surge in Covid cases in the state. He considers it the hardest work he has done in his life.

“I flew down there, and the next day I was in the ICU treating the sickest patients that I had ever seen in my career. The doctors and nurses, respiratory therapists were working extremely hard, but they were simply overwhelmed with the number of cases,” Dr. Rodriguez told NBC News. “At the time, we had about five times the number of cases in the ICU there as compared to my hospital [in San Francisco], which was a much bigger hospital and a much better-resourced hospital.”

Dr. Luciana Borio is back to work for the public health of the American people.

Dr. Borio was part of the pandemic response team that President Trump disbanded in 2018. Many have criticized this decision by President Trump as the reason the virus has been as devastating as it was in the U.S. The disbanding of the pandemic response team left the U.S. vulnerable for this kind of preventable tragedy.

Dr. Borio has a long history of helping the U.S. combating widespread viral infections. She was part of the team that fought to against the 2009-10 H1N1 pandemic, the 2013-14 Ebola outbreak in West Africa, and the 2015-16 Zika outbreak in Latin America.

READ: Joe Biden Projected To Be The 46th President Of The United States Of America

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Americans Are Flocking To Mexico Amid The Pandemic And Being Terrible Tourists In The Process

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Americans Are Flocking To Mexico Amid The Pandemic And Being Terrible Tourists In The Process

ULISES RUIZ/AFP via Getty Images

Despite being one of the world’s hardest hit countries by the Covid-19 pandemic, Mexico never once closed its doors to international tourism. In fact, the country has worked hard to lure travelers from the U.S. as Americans faced increasingly tough restrictions at home. This has had a profound impact on the country’s experience with Covid-19, with so many Mexicans either falling ill themselves or knowing someone who has.

With so many Mexicans having first hand experience with the virus, it makes sense why so many have strong opinions about tourist’s behaviors while visiting the country.

Tourists are still welcomed in Mexico but their bad behavior is not.

Most Mexicans agree with their government’s open borders approach during the pandemic, since the alternative would have meant even worse economic situation for a country already suffering record levels of poverty. But the influx of tourists to the country has brought with it a level of resentment at those who fail to follow local health guidelines while on vacation.

Mexico never closed its airports to tourists and one walk down a block in Mexico City’s popular Condesa or Roma neighborhoods and you’ll spot American tourists within minutes – many failing to wear a mask. The problem is even more severe in popular tourist destinations like Oaxaca.

There, tourists often travel from the bustling city of Oaxaca into remote villages where Indigenous residents have even less access to proper medical care.

Residents fear that tourists feel they are exempt from local Covid-19 guidelines.

Many residents who have had their own personal experience with the coronavirus has made them sensitive to the pandemic situation in their community. As case numbers continued to rise, many noticed more tourists defying widely practiced public-health protocols, like wearing face masks in public.

On Feb. 25, a popular photographer from Oaxaca, Frank Coronado, posted a plea to his 171,000 Instagram followers: “Dear travelers, you are welcome in Oaxaca, but you should ALWAYS wear a mask when you are in public places.”

He wanted to publicly address the issue and encourage visitors to do better — particularly foreigners who travel from Oaxaca City into smaller rural villages, where artisans are even more vulnerable. He told the Washington Post, “I get mad because I already went through [covid-19] and know how bad it feels. I don’t want my people, the people of Oaxaca, to get sick.”

With an economy based on services, many don’t have the freedom to work from home.

Many in Mexico don’t have the luxury of isolating from tourists — such as Aurora Tostado, who owns the downtown coffee shop Marito & Moglie with her husband.

“People in Mexico, we have to get out of our homes to work. It’s not like we can work remotely like most of the people in the U.S.,” Tostado told the Washington Post. Like others in hospitality, Tostado benefits financially from having tourists, and she is happy to welcome them back, she says. She just hopes they will consider the chain reaction of their behavior as they enjoy the culture that makes her city special

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Seniors In Mexico City Turned Their Wait For The Vaccine Into A Disco Dance Off

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Seniors In Mexico City Turned Their Wait For The Vaccine Into A Disco Dance Off

CLAUDIO CRUZ/AFP via Getty Images

Last week, Mexican officials launched the country’s COVID-19 vaccination program by beginning to vaccinate those 65 and over. But, just like in countries around the world, the roll out hasn’t exactly been ideal. Many residents in the nation’s capital have reported waiting in line for hours for their vaccine, with some even being forced to camp out overnight to make sure they receive their shot.

Despite the long waits, many seniors are turning the headache into something fun by having impromptu dance offs and even yoga classes.

Seniors lined up to get vaccinated turned the wait into a fun dance off to pass the time.

As Mexico begins vaccinating the general public – after months of giving vaccines to public health workers – seniors, who are first in line, are facing immense lines at vaccination sites across the country.

To help pass the time, many of those waiting in line have tried to make the wait more bearable by dancing to tunes such as disco classic “I Will Survive.”

Healthcare workers outside a vaccination center in a Mexico City suburb got the festivities started by encouraging those waiting for a Sputnik V shot to cut a rug in the street as music played over a sound system. One of the workers even belted out a few songs over karaoke backing tracks to entertain the seniors, some of whom had begun lining up on Wednesday night.

Many seniors lined up didn’t mind the wait since they were grateful for the vaccine.

Despite the hours long wait – with some even camping out overnight to ensure their access to the vaccine – many of those waiting were simply grateful for the shots.

With tears in his eyes, 67-year-old Juan Mario Cárdenas told Reforma that he has lost friends to Covid-19 and that getting vaccinated was a matter of life and death for him. He is one of almost 200,000 people in the Mexico City boroughs of Iztacalco, Xochimilco and Tláhuac who are expected to receive a first shot of the Sputnik V vaccine by the end of next week.

The country is rolling out its vaccination program using the Russian Sputnik V vaccine.

Inoculation with the Russian vaccine began in the capital – the country’s coronavirus epicenter – on Wednesday, nearly two weeks after the first AstraZeneca shots were given to people aged 60 and over in several of the city’s most affected suburbs.

About 1.9 million vaccine doses had been administered in Mexico as of Wednesday night, mainly to health workers and seniors. The government expects to receive more than 100 million doses from several companies by the end of May.

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