RIO GRANDE CITY, Texas (AP) — The U.S. failure to contain the pandemic has been laid bare in the Rio Grande Valley in South Texas.

For nearly a month, the region that serves as America’s southern doorstep pleaded for a field hospital, but not until Tuesday was one ready and accepting patients.

In July alone, Hidalgo County reported more than 600 deaths. That's more than the Houston area, which is five times larger.

The borderland is home to 2 million people. DHR Health is one of the largest hospitals on the border.

Nearly 200 of its 500 beds belong to coronavirus patients isolated in two units. A third unit is in the works.

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