Border Patrol Opens Emergency Operations Center in South Texas for Coronavirus

Border Patrol EMT training exercise.
File Photo: U.S. Border Patrol/San Diego Sector

Rio Grande Valley Sector Border Patrol officials announced the opening of its Emergency Operations Center (EOC) in response to the COVID-19 coronavirus public health crisis. The center will help officials coordinate with local, state, and other federal agencies.

“The EOC serves as a centralized location to manage Border Patrol’s resources that are strategically placed throughout the region,” officials said in a written statement. “Its primary focus is to coordinate response efforts to ensure agents can carry out their duties in securing the border and provide emergency management assistance to other local, state and federal agencies.”

Due to the sensitive nature of information in the EOC, the center will not be open to the public or to news media, the press release states.

“The EOC coordinates with federal, state and local health officials and the EOCs activated within their respective jurisdictions as the region addresses the COVID-19 pandemic in a whole of government approach,” the statement continues. “Our team is working with first responders and public health departments to ensure the protection of those tasked with mitigation and response efforts.”

Officials did not disclose the location of the EOC.

In a recent interview with Breitbart News Daily, Border Patrol Agent Chris Cabrera, in his capacity as Vice President of the National Border Patrol Council (NBPC), said his agents are being cautious, but are well prepared for anything they may face regarding the COVID-19 outbreak.

“I think it’s a very big threat,” Cabrera stated. “In the Rio Grande Valley, we catch a lot of Chinese nationals. Not only that, but the majority of the people we catch are people that are ‘other than Mexican.’ We catch more non-Mexicans than we catch Mexican nationals.”

“Especially with this virus, let’s just say that if we catch a lot of Chinese nationals and they happened to be infected,” Cabrera continued. “They go to Mexico City as the first stop on their trip and then by either bus or plane up to Reynosa — how many people are they coming in contact will.”

“We have messaging coming out daily,” the Border Patrol union leader said. “I was in training on this last week on this. Each station is doing exercises little-by-little to run scenarios in case something were to happen.”

He explained they have been retrofitting some vehicles to better be able to transport potentially infected migrants to Border Patrol stations or hospitals.

“Unfortunately, in case of a widespread quarantine, we are still going to work — we’re still out there,” he concluded. “We’re going to be there for the duration.”

Click here to listen to Cabrera’s full interview on Breitbart News Daily.

Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior news contributor for the Breitbart Texas-Border team. He is an original member of the Breitbart Texas team. Price is a regular panelist on Fox 26 Houston’s What’s Your Point? Sunday-morning talk show. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX and Facebook.

Disclosure: Breitbart Texas sponsored the Green Line podcast for the NBPC in an effort to provide a platform for agents to inform the public about the realities on the border and what Border Patrol agents face. Director Brandon Darby received an award from the Laredo chapter of the NBPC for his work in helping to defend and bring a voice to Border Patrol agents. Breitbart News assisted in covering funeral costs for a slain Border Patrol agent previously. Darby and Breitbart senior management have directly stated and shown that helping to bring a voice to the expressed needs and interests of Border Patrol agents is a top priority–personally, individually and together through Breitbart News.

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