They’re Spraying Bleach Water Over a Mexican Border City to Stop the Spread of Coronavirus

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Local government officials in the border city of Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, are dropping bleach water from helicopters in an attempt to eliminate coronavirus—despite health officials advising against it. 

Univision reported Sunday that the city’s mayor, Armando Cavada, is having sodium hypochlorite sprayed over more than 800 acres of border neighborhoods because “it’s the same material, or sanitizer, used to disinfect operating rooms,” Cavada said—a substance that cleans “totally well.”

On Wednesday morning, the helicopter was back at it, as immigration attorney Taylor Levy pointed out on Twitter:

After the first spray last week, a Juárez resident took to Facebook to say that family members had experienced eye irritation, coughing, and vomiting. Local health officials spoke out against the tactic. They argued there is no scientific evidence that spraying at that distance would help in the first place, Univision reported, and that it also negatively affects the city’s flora and fauna. 

The first round of spraying is supposed to continue for a week and will cost approximately US$65,000, according to El Diario, a local newspaper. 

While Mexico hasn’t been hit as hard by the coronavirus as other countries—there have been more than 16,700 confirmed cases and more than 1,560 deaths, including 259 and 64, respectively, in Juárez—it’s still slightly behind the US timeline. The latest government projections say Mexico will see the peak of the pandemic in mid-May. 

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In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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