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Mayor says El Paso hasn’t reached virus peak, disagrees with governor lifting stay home order

El Paso Mayor Dee Margo wears a face mask during the coronavirus pandemic.

EL PASO, Texas -- Amid the deadliest day to date for El Paso during the coronavirus pandemic, with four new deaths in 24 hours, Mayor Dee Margo said the Borderland has not reached its' peak.

Graphing done by the city shows a slow increase in cases, but the decline has not yet started and local health officials aren't sure when El Paso should see the peak.

Despite that fact, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott's executive order will allow the state's re-opening process to begin on Friday - superseding El Paso's joint city and county stay home order.

In a wide-ranging interview with ABC-7's Erik Elken on Wednesday evening, Margo said if it were up to him - he would've kept the stay home order in place, but the governor's directive "took it out of our hands."

Mayor Dee Margo: We probably would've kept them in longer, yeah. The judge, especially, and I. We talked about it. That's why I made the imperative yesterday. I referred to it as first chance, last chance. Businesses are going to have to comply with these orders if we're going to keep this virus suppressed. We have no choice.

ABC-7's Erik Elken: Are you frustrated? Do you think this is the best way to go with the governor statewide issuing these reopening plans, when places like El Paso aren't necessarily ready for them?

Mayor Margo: By the same token, Erik, we're not sure we're not ready for them. I was getting data today. Everyone talks about testing. We've done as of today 8,967 tests. We average 9.4 tests per 1,000. Houston, Harris County, is 9.6 tests per 1,000. Dallas is 9.55 per 1,000. Travis County is 9.34 per 1,000 and then you get to San Antonio, they're only 4.64. We're equivalent to the top counties in Texas in the amount of testing we do and we're going to continue to do more testing.

ABC-7: You mentioned those testing rates. Even though they compare to the other large cities, Texas as a state is 48th out of the 50 states when it comes to testing rate and our numbers are about 40 percent behind the national testing rate. It's one thing to compare it to the other cities in the state, but when you compare it to the national rate are you comfortable with where we're at?

Mayor Margo: We're doing as much as we can with what we have. We have plenty of resources. I found out today the Texas Department of Emergency Management is going to set up some new mobile test sites here so we can do more. They're going to be here around the second week of May. We're going to have a location in, we don't know where specifically, we're going to have them in San Elizario, Fabens, Horizon and the Anthony/Vinton area. We're going to have four new facilities and they're going to be run by the National Guard. If we have a spike, if we have a significant issue, then we'll take the action we need to do for public health. But if people will wear face coverings, if they'll maintain the social distancing, if they'll follow the rules as we've stated, if they only come out when they need to and especially those over 65 -- stay home.

ABC-7: How quick will you be to call the governor if you start to see troubling signs?

Mayor Margo: In a moment's notice, for sure. And he has said, don't forget, Erik. He's going to re-analyze this on May 14th. If there is a statewide issue, or others that talk to him about our specific areas then I think there will be changes then.

Coronavirus Video / Health / News / Texas / Texas Politics / Top Stories / Video

Jim Parker

Jim Parker is the Director of Digital Content for ABC-7.



  1. Hopefully the meds Dr. Fauci was talking about will help. In the final analysis we need a vaccine. China, Germany, and Great Britain are in the lead on this aspect. Trumpites want to drink Clorox. Hopefully they all will do so.

    1. GFY. The leading research re: vaccine is here in the USA and at Oxford in England.
      You virtue slurping of Communist China is noted. Surrender, assclown. Typical liberal.

      1. China has valuable research info that we all will need in the near future. If you can’t contribute useful and informed dialog, why clog up this chat room?

    1. My only beefs with Abbott are how slow testing was rolled out, and the fiasco at the state psychiatric clinic. The numbers prove the elderly and those with compromised immune systems are the most vulnerable. Younger, healthy people won’t have much of a problem as things gradually open. It’s when those younger, healthy people get it (including asymptomatic) and decide to visit the vulnerable (parents, grandparents) that $hit will hit the fan. Go get your hair cut and support local businesses but avoid eating at grandma’s house afterwards. Common sense, right?

    2. Yes, Trump is a moron. Thankfully he has Pence, Fauci, Birx, and Adams giving us valuable information while Trump plays the sarcastic used car salesman in the daily briefs.

      1. Trump instincts and his decision to SHUT DOWN TRAVEL FROM PANDEMIC SOURCE RED CHINA has been VITAL in holding down deaths in the USA.
        FACT. Incontrovertible fact. Densely populated N.Y., their elected officials were URGING PEOPLE TO GO OUT and mix
        “Don’t be racist, go eat Chinese!” NYC health debt.

      2. Probably need to leave Pence out of that list. He spends his time reading the bible all day like an insane person. He didn’t even have a mask on at the Mayo Clinic. What a Dolt. He’s just another tragic figure in this sad chapter in American history.

        1. Moron. Pence is TESTED, REGULARLY. More so than the crew at Mayo. He’s negative for CHINA VIRUS-19.
          He’s healthy/low risk.
          Push your panic porn somewhere else, fool.

          1. I’d be willing to bet Pence has been tested only once. He needs to wear a mask like the rest of us to be in close quarters with others. Its just common sense.

        2. He’s an insane person because he reads the bible? This “sad chapter” was preceded and will be followed by 2 of the greatest chapters in US history. Go grab yourself a tissue.

    3. Anyone bad mouthing Trump or Abbott can’t be all bad. Most Republicans are abandoning that ship that’s been steadily sinking for three years. You shouldn’t be angry with Democrats. You are the idiots who voted for these two clowns. Be angry at yourselves and start thinking.

      1. Based on what. The Republican circle that I see are stronger and more determined than ever. African American Democrats are becoming Pro-Trump supporters in droves. No Republicans I know, follow, etc. has turned on Trump. Unlike democratic sheep, we do not believe the lies the media and the left keep spewing.

        1. Sounds like wishful thinking. I find it hilarious when you Nazis and Trumpites get mad at the media for just repirting the facts. Check out if you don’t trust the media. Or you could just keep watching Fox News which is the modern day Volkischer Beobachter.

            Those “fact check” sites are Leftist propaganda clearing houses.
            They either parse, or outright lie.

          2. Facts? I haven’t seen a fact displayed by the MSM in years. Oh and I don’t watch Fox News either.

  2. Margo is a RINO clown. No balls, no brains, no guts.
    Always ready to surrender and capitulate to the whims of the Democrat fools.
    Switch parties, Dee.

    1. Ditto. Its sad that you seldom hear the words “integrity” and “Republicans” in the same sentence anymore. John McCain was one of the last.

        1. McStain was a traitor, a liar and a cheater.
          Never accomplished a gddamn thing after getting shot down in Vietnam.
          Glad handing, RINO, “champagne unit” admiral’s boy sack of shite.

  3. I’d be willing to bet Pence has been tested only once. He needs to wear a mask like the rest of us to be in close quarters with others. Its just common sense.

  4. Ankle Biters here’s a clue: Stop relying on the government to Take Care of You! There’s only so much Samaniego, Escobar and Trump will do for You! Do for Yourself/Take Care Of Yourself! If you’re stupid and lazy enough to walk into Walmar without face covering and pick your nose with dirty hands and let your little mommys and poppys run around and Touch Everything on the floor you almost Deserve The Virus!

  5. Amazing how 1946 is so concerned with Vice Prez Pense wearing a mask and how many times he has been tested. He sure is concerned for his health. And too find out that alberto tried to donate blood and was refused. It was told blood can only be donated by humans, not slimy viruses. Seems 1946 and alberto are one and the same imbecile. Bacteria like them run in psycho groups in their own delusional world.

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