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Photo: Axios

Rep. Veronica Escobar (D-Texas) told Axios at a virtual event Thursday that the country needs to do more when it comes to migrants who are crossing the border and contracting COVID-19.

Why it matters: A recent report from Noticias Telemundo Investiga showed that about 40% of undocumented immigrants who died on their way to the U.S. and ended up in a Falfurrias, Texas, morgue had contracted COVID-19 prior to their deaths.

What she's saying: "The very same Republican leaders who are complaining or trying to scapegoat, rather, migrants for bringing in COVID are the same Republican leaders who don't care that the American unvaccinated public is spreading COVID," Escobar said.

  • "So to me, it really demonstrates that this is more of a feeling of xenophobia and scapegoating than a true public health concern," she added.
  • "We can do more, but part of what's standing in the way is our own governor," Escobar said referring to Texas Gov. Greg Abbott. "The federal government has tried to provide communities with FEMA funds to ensure that local communities can more adequately test trace migrants, and we have a governor who has rejected that funding."
  • "So could the administration do more? I think they're doing absolutely everything possible to ensure that migrants are tested. I do want them to do more, but we need also a collaborator and a partner in state leadership."

Watch the full event here.

Go deeper

Oct 24, 2021 - World

Pope calls on countries to stop sending migrants back to Libya

Photo: Vincenzo Pinto / AFP via Getty Images

Pope Francis on Sunday called on the international community to end the practice of returning migrants rescued at sea to Libya and other "unsafe countries," AP reports.

Why it matters: Hundreds of thousands of migrants have taken to the sea, fleeing from the countries like Libya and Turkey. Many were later returned to their county of origin by authorities.

Gaming CEO calls on industry to help fight climate change

"Catalyst Black." Screenshot: Super Evil Megacorp

Gaming CEO Kristian Segerstrale is calling on leaders in his industry to take action on climate change, after completing a $1.4 million fundraising campaign this summer.

Why it matters: Gaming's pandemic-fueled boom creates an opportunity, and maybe even an obligation, to do some good.

3 hours ago - World

U.S. releases updated vaccination, testing rules for foreign travelers

Photo: Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images

Foreign travelers will be allowed entry to the U.S. beginning Nov. 8 if they can provide proof of full COVID-19 vaccination with a shot authorized by the World Health Organization and a negative test within three days of departure, the White House announced Monday.

Why it matters: The updated guidance, which exempts children under the age of 18 from the vaccine requirement, is intended to provide further clarity for airlines and foreign nationals who have been restricted from traveling to the U.S. since early 2020.