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Assistance: U.S. should help Mexico with COVID-19 fight

In many respects, COVID-19 is all the U.S. health care system can handle, and more. By midweek, nearly 160,000 Americans had succumbed to the disease; nearly 120 of them right here in West Virginia — and 4 in Wood County.

Though enormous progress has been made since the pandemic first breached U.S. defenses last winter, challenges remain. Among them is processing of COVID-19 test kits. Some states have reported delays of as much as two weeks in informing people whether they tested positive or negative.

In many ways, we in this country are better equipped than those in most other countries to battle the disease, however. Even some developed countries are suffering badly.

For example, the United Kingdom had recorded 46,286 coronavirus deaths by Sunday. France’s total was 30,268. Both countries’ populations are approximately one-fifth that of the United States.

But our southern neighbor, Mexico is being ravaged by COVID-19. As of Sunday, the disease had killed 47,472 Mexicans. The death rate there is far higher than in the United States (nearly 11% compared with just a little more than 3%).

First things come first, of course. Many of our resources in the war against the virus must be devoted to protecting Americans.

But the Mexicans are our neighbors. Many Americans trace their heritage to that nation, where many still have relatives.

Whatever help the United States can provide to our neighbors should be rushed there.

We Americans cannot sit idly by and not try to help. That is not what we do.

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