The COVID-19 numbers are out of control in El Paso. Hospitalizations, infections, deaths, the rates are astronomical and City and County officials are trying to get them under control. County Judge Ricardo Samaniego has been batting with the City and the Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton for two weeks now after putting a shutdown order into place that not only wasn't followed by so many El Pasoans, it was the subject of a lawsuit that was brought against Samaniego by a number of local restaurant owners and the Attorney General. You can find out more about the County Judge's order and the lawsuit by clicking here.

In the meantime, El Paso Mayor Dee Margo has not been on the same page as Samaniego. Margo has said that the shutdown would only mean more economic hardship for the El Paso economy. He and City Council voted earlier this week to not adopt the County Judge's order. On Thursday afternoon, Margo went before local media for a news conference.

The Mayor started out with thanking frontline medical workers and reiterating the current COVID-19 numbers that were released on Thursday morning. He said that there were some good trends in slightly lower numbers, but El Paso families were still trying so hard to stay afloat financially.

Margo said that he has heard from small business owners who are tired of being made to feel like the bad guys because they want to stay open so they can pay their own bills and continue paying their employees. Margo said they are now asking how they are supposed to pay thousands of dollars in taxes.

Margo said that he wants to know from the County how the people who are struggling financially are going to be helped by the County.

Oh lord, Margo was told that Karla Nieman was seen throwing a party and Margo said he wasn't invited or offered ice cream or cake. Margo said that his understanding was that there were only family members present at the party.

Margo also said after being informed that Samaniego couldn't call in to the City press conferences that he had been invited and that when the judge decided that his order was lawful, the City followed it, including the curfew. He also said that the City usually talks to the County but hasn't the past few times there have been press conferences.

Margo said that every other decision prior to the most recent order put into place by the County Judge had been made with discussion between the City and County, but the most recent order was not discussed between the two entities.

Ok, other than the attempted gotcha moment concerning the Nieman birthday party photos, this news conference was a bit of a dud. Nothing new from the City, just numbers and updates.

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