New Mexico’s governor blasts state GOP for ‘reckless demand’ to reopen
New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) on Tuesday slammed a group of GOP lawmakers in the state for what she called a “reckless demand” to reopen the state following restrictions put in place due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Grisham sent a letter Tuesday responding to state Sen. Gregory Baca (R) and 12 other GOP colleagues after they signed a letter late last week urging Grisham to lift public safety orders by May 21 because the outbreak was not as bad as initial modeling predictions, local news station KRQE reported.
The governor said that the letter sent to her by Baca “eludes the glaring fact that New Mexico’s success in combating the virus is due to the fact that my administration has taken strong steps to protect New Mexicans,” calling the letter a “proudly anti-scientific, bluster and misjudgment.”
Noting that the national death toll from the coronavirus has risen to more than 90,000, she criticized Baca for making claims “without evidence,” asserting that the state’s pandemic lockdown has been guided by “data-driven steps.”
“Your reckless demand for a full-scale ‘reopening’ … serves only to inflame misinformed public opinion,” she said, scolding Baca for likening the pandemic to be primarily a tragedy of “economic shortfall.”
In the letter, Grisham said that New Mexico has mostly reopened, adding that she has outlined a plan to reopen more high-risk services and businesses.
The New Mexico Department of Health has said in updated orders this month say that “all New Mexicans should be staying in their homes for all but the most essential activities and services.”
The order also instructs uses of masks in public places, as well as requiring businesses and houses of worship to operate at 25 percent capacity.
In Baca’s letter, he urged Grisham to lift all mandates instated due to the pandemic by Friday.
According to KRQE, Baca said that if measures continue, the economic damage could become irreversible, noting that the next phase of reopening for the state is on June 1.