This week on New Mexico in Focus, correspondent Laura Paskus continues her series of interviews with journalists around the state as they cover COVID-19 in their communities. Although it’s in Texas, El Paso’s proximity to our state and the border with Mexico makes it an important part of the pandemic’s equation.

Paskus talks with two veteran border journalists, Bob Moore of El Paso Matters and Lauren Villagran, immigration reporter with the El Paso Times.

Senior producer Matt Grubs looks at testing for the novel coronavirus – both for those infected and for those who may have had the virus with only mild or no symptoms. Grubs talks with Dr. David Grenache, who is the chief scientific officer of TriCore Reference Laboratories, the largest independent laboratory in the state.

In an interview recorded earlier this year, correspondent Russell Contreras sat down with Cynthia Kennedy for a deeply personal tribute to her grandfather: author, educator, and civil rights leader George I. Sanchez. His book “Forgotten People: A Study of New Mexicans,” first published in 1940, looked at the status of education among Mexican Americans and Native Americans. It was a pioneering work, as it was the first book of its kind written by someone who was himself a person of color. His granddaughter, herself an educator, speaks of her determination not to let his legacy be forgotten.  

Gene Grant and The Line opinion panel discuss the state’s reaction to the governor’s COVID-19 updates, which included opening more retail businesses but not opening restaurants to dine-in service. The new public health order also requires, with few exceptions, wearing face masks in public – a mandate that is not sitting well with everyone.  And with the state’s primary close upon us, The Line also looks at contested federal races.

New Mexico in Focus is involved, informed, in-depth media airing weekly on New Mexico PBS. The program debuts Friday nights at 7 p.m. on NMPBS 5.1(KNME-HD) and appears online shortly thereafter. The show rebroadcasts on NMPBS 5.1 (KNME-HD) Sundays at 7 a.m. and on NMPBS 9.1 (WORLD) on Saturdays at 5 p.m. and Sundays at 3 p.m.     

In Focus Interviews

COVID-19 in El Paso 

Laura Paskus 

Bob Moore, president and CEO,

Lauren Villagran, reporter, El Paso Times

COVID-19 Testing at TriCore Reference Labs

Matt Grubs

Dr. David Grenache, chief scientific officer, TriCore Reference Laboratories 

Civil Rights Pioneer George I. Sánchez 

Russell Contreras 

Cynthia Kennedy, granddaughter of educator and civil rights pioneer George I. Sanchez 

Line Panelists  
Dede Feldman, former state senator 

Dan Foley, former state representative 

Cathryn McGill, NM Black Leadership Council

​Gene Grant   

Mexico in Focus is the New Mexico PBS prime-time news magazine show covering the events, issues, and people that are shaping life in New Mexico and the Southwest. NMiF takes a multi-layered look at social, political, economic health, education, and art issues, and explores them in-depth with a critical eye to give them context beyond the “news of the moment.”

The producer of New Mexico in Focus is Matt Grubs, with Kathy Wimmer, associate producer. The NM PBS Public Affairs executive producer is Kevin McDonald.

The McCune Charitable Foundation provides NMiF funding, along with viewers like you.

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