MCALLEN, Texas – The Rio Grande Valley may soon see a field hospital in Hidalgo County following a request from Congressman Vicente Gonzalez. Scrambling for more resources, Gonzalez reached out to Samaritan’s Purse, a faith-based organization for help.

“No matter how much help we get from this organization or another it’s not going to be enough but we’ll take what we can,” said the Congressman.

Over 12,000 people were tested over the weekend in the Rio Grande Valley, pending results that have officials and doctors extremely worried.

“I know the federal government is doing more, the state is doing more but like one of the hospital administrators said, we can’t wait 30 days,” Gonzalez added.

The plan is to set up a field hospital in Hidalgo County, providing an additional 60 beds. The organization said although it is ready to be deployed from North Carolina, they must assess the area first.

“They have brought a medical team with their expertise with infectious disease who have worked in Africa during the Ebola crisis, worked in Italy during the COVID crisis, set up a unit in Central Park and saved a lot of New Yorkers’ lives,” said Gonzalez.

Edward Graham with Samaritan’s Purse said they are in contact with other states who have also requested the field hospital from them.

“There’s other states that have asked us for assistance. We want to go where the need is greatest and the resources. You have some unique challenges here just based off geography where you are, the temperature outside,” he stated.

Calling it a complicated situation, Judge Richard Cortez said they are working as quickly as they can but there are some challenges.

“Yesterday when we were testing people and you put the thermometer on the ground it was 142 degrees. When you put a temporary facility in a hurricane environment with 60 patients in it, that’s a problem,” said Cortez.

The county’s health authority, Dr. Ivan Melendez said the county needs help immediately, describing our hospitals as terrifying.

“You’ll see warehouses of people laying on stretchers. Human beings one right after the other on ventilators, oxygen supplementation.”

If granted, the field hospital would be delivered and placed near another hospital within 72 hours from leaving North Carolina. The hospital is donation-based costing the county zero dollars but the organization will visit other states before granting it to Hidalgo County.