On Friday, hundreds of New Mexico health care workers, including emergency medical technicians, nurses, doctors, and others affected by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s forced vaccination mandates showed up in droves to the Roundhouse in Santa Fe to protest the mandates, which are now forcing all health care workers to get the inoculation.
“We’re not saying, ‘Don’t get the vaccine.’ We’re not saying, ‘Get the vaccine.’ We’re saying to the governor, ‘We want the choice to put an experimental vaccine in our body, not to be forced,’ ” said Hollie Ortiz, a nurse. She is prepared to quit her job in a matter of days if she is forced to take the jab, according to the Santa Fe New Mexican.
Medical workers say that the mandates will only worsen the already strained health care system in New Mexico, with the New Mexico Department of Health sending out an “urgent call” for nurses and hospital staff. With the mandate, it will force health care workers to be fired, quit, and ultimately make these life-saving workers leave the state.
“That makes it even worse,” said Julian Baca, who has worked at the state penitentiary for over 13 years. “Not only are you forcing a vaccine on us, now you’re taking food out of a family’s mouth. Now you’re going to make me lose my home. Now you’re going to make me get my house foreclosed on, or you’re taking away my career.”
Jennifer Alter, an Albuquerque radiology technician said, “I’ve worked so hard…. I feel like I have a high work ethic. I sacrificed for so many years. You know, I’ve worked the two jobs, and I feel like, ‘How dare them?’ ”
But despite these nurses, medical professionals, workers, and others making a plea to the Governor to not force these mandates down health care workers’ throats, her press secretary sent out a condescending statement to the New Mexican demeaning health care workers who did not take the vaccine.
Sackett said that health care in the state has to be rationed “because of unvaccinated New Mexicans spreading a highly infectious and incredibly dangerous virus despite the widespread availability and efficacy of vaccines.”
She added, “Vaccines are required in certain high-risk settings, right now, because anything less is irresponsible and will lead to sickness and potentially death, needless death, and the governor and her administration have been consistent throughout this pandemic in acting on her commitment to limit and prevent needless sickness and death.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky told CNN what the COVID-19 vaccines “can׳t do anymore is prevent transmission.”
Here are some photos from the protest: