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El Paso has been so depleted by the coronavirus that the county’s makeshift morgues are relying on jail inmates to move bodies, and hospitals are nearing a point where health workers could have to decide who gets care and who doesn’t.
And in their attempts to stymie the deadly virus with dwindling resources, local officials have faced both passive and active resistance from Texas leaders.
After a plea for help from the Texas Army National Guard to help at the overflowing morgues, Gov. Greg Abbott, who serves as commander-in-chief of Texas military forces, said the guard was available but first directed El Paso County Judge Ricardo Samaniego to use county resources. The governor has also spoken out against the county’s now-halted shutdown of nonessential businesses. Attorney General Ken Paxton slammed Samaniego for the order, calling the judge a tyrant trying to kill small businesses and holiday gatherings.
But the region is desperate, Samaniego said.
“We don’t have the personnel,” he told The Texas Tribune on Monday. “We’re at a …
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