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Congressman Cuellar calls for National Guard to help with vaccinations

Henry Cuellar cited the more than 10,000 positive COVID-19 cases in two weeks in Laredo as evidence of the urgent need for help.
Published: Feb. 4, 2021 at 11:20 PM CST
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LAREDO, Tex. (KGNS) - Vaccinating hundreds of thousands of people takes a lot of manpower, and with south Texas lagging behind, Congressman Henry Cuellar has called on the National Guard to step in.

City officials have characterized Laredo as medically underserved, and although the city continues to request more vaccines each week from the state, they’ve barely made a dent in vaccinating the population.

Congressman Cuellar sent a letter to Governor Greg Abbott this week requesting the National Guard’s deployment to help border communities vaccinate their populations.

He cited the more than 10,000 positive COVID-19 cases in two weeks in Laredo as evidence of the urgent need for help.

Also saying, “Various areas across the southwest border continue to experience delays in distribution and administration of the COVID-19 vaccine.”

Laredo’s Fire Chief Guillermo Heard confirms the situation.

”The assistance in vaccination administrations, I know council did send a letter for that. We reached out directly to TDEM (texas division of emergency management). There is an executive order that states that the will be assisting, but we’re still getting clarification exactly how, and we’ve been following up with them weekly on the status and advising that we do need the assistance.”

The governor sent nearly 500 more staff, medical equipment and COVID-19 test kits to south Texas, but Congressman Cuellar says his constituents need more.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency will provide reimbursements to local and state governments for the use of their national guards in COVID-19 responses.

The Texas National Guard is currently in the area helping with food banks, but no word yet on if they will be enlisted to help with vaccination efforts.

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