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As Virus Overtakes Texas, Houston Hospitals Face Crisis

Reprinted with permission from ProPublica.

HOUSTON — At Lyndon B. Johnson Hospital on Sunday, the medical staff ran out of both space for new coronavirus patients and a key drug needed to treat them. With no open beds at the public hospital, a dozen COVID-19 patients who were in need of intensive care were stuck in the emergency room, awaiting transfers to other Houston area hospitals, according to a note sent to the staff and shared with reporters.

A day later, the top physician executive at the Houston Methodist hospital system wrote to staff members warning that its coronavirus caseload was surging: "It has become necessary to consider delaying more surgical services to create further capacity for COVID-19 patients," Dr. Robert Phillips said in the note, an abrupt turn from three days earlier, when the hospital system sent a note to thousands of patients, inviting them to keep their surgical appointments.

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Houston Hospitals Near Capacity As Texas Senator Scoffs At Crisis

Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) on Thursday attacked a state representative who expressed concern over Houston hospitals reaching ICU capacity.

"We're at the edge of the cliff," state Rep. Gene Wu tweeted earlier Thursday morning. "After these next few days, we will not have enough beds to care for all of the incoming #COVID19 patients. Then people die."

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Record High Virus Caseloads In States That Reopened Quickly

Since the beginning of June, 11 states that opted to reopen their economies early, against expert advice, have reported record high numbers of confirmed coronavirus cases.

On Monday, the Washington Post reported that Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Kentucky, Mississippi, New Mexico, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas, and Utah had all recently experienced their highest seven-day average numbers of new cases.

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In Some Red States, Partisan Officials Blocking Mail Ballots

This article was produced by Voting Booth, a project of the Independent Media Institute.

Across America, election officials responsible for the details of running elections have a clear idea of what is needed to shift to mostly mail-in voting in upcoming spring, summer and fall elections to protect voters from the coronavirus. But pockets of conservatives are resisting their advice.

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