On Thursday, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham held a press conference, which escalated into more of a rant against people she claimed were causing the spread of COVID-19.
During the presser, she claimed New Mexicans were “breaking ranks,” with public officials questioning inaccuracies in her Health Department’s data while berating those leaders for claiming Lujan Grisham’s mask mandate is a way to “control or manipulate individuals in our state.”
She insisted, “I need folks to not do that!” She went on to claim President Donal J. Trump “didn’t meet his responsibility” to force every American to wear a face mask, as the Governor has done.
Lujan Grisham then went on to compare random photographs from Taos and Hobbs, one showing a sunny, bright day in Taos, where people were wearing face masks as far as the eye could see. However, the other photograph Lujan Grisham showed was one of an unnamed establishment in Hobbs, which appeared to be a snitch photo submitted to her office picturing people eating inside and not wearing masks.
She said the actions in the picture were “not allowable,” touting how her team had altered the snitch photo to add blue/purple masks onto the subjects. Lujan Grisham also claimed, “those workers” in the photo “are not wearing masks. You cannot tell, but I can tell,” she said in a paranoid tone.
As well, she said, “I don’t think the individuals were trying to support a local business,” then claiming “we’re getting… those photos and many calls and many complaints, and we’re going out.”
Other than threatening local law enforcers with fines and citations after her rant at the Hobbs business, Lujan Grisham then claimed, “Nobody wishes that restaurants have a situation where they have a situation where they are challenged to make it. Every business — every small business is worthy of New Mexico’s attention and support.” It may not appear that way, with the New Mexico Restaurant Associaton estimating that 20% of restaurants across the state will close forever.
Lujan Grisham continued, saying, “And I know that New Mexicans also know we are also debating these issues in front of fact-finders — judges — statewide, and I believe in the independence and authority of judges. And we will adhere to whatever judicial action comes down any number of these. But we are citing. We are closing, and I will tell you this. For local law enforcement: where you are also — it’s bad enough that you won’t help us cite folks who aren’t wearing masks and organizations and businesses and restaurants following public health orders — if you are violating a public health order, there are civil and criminal tools at our disposal. And local law enforcement — including the sheriffs who have been posting photos of themselves eating returns — should expect to be cited as such and to be held accountable.”
The statement seems a bit hypocritical that Lujan Grisham “beleive[s] in the independence and authority of judges,” when the New Mexico Restaurant Associaton’s lawsuit to allow in-person dining was met with radio silence from her office. Not only that, right after the Court sided with the Association, Lujan Grisham had the New Mexico Supreme Court fast-track the case — shutting down the lower Court’s ruling within hours. Is that what Lujan Grisham claims is being respectful toward the “independence” of judges?
As well, Lujan Grisham’s targeting of Sheriffs, claiming her State Police will have to turn on fellow law enforcers and cite them, undermines the duly-elected sheriffs and local law enforcement operations trying to uphold the written law — not necessarily Lujan Grisham’s edicts. But Lujan added insult to injury, and said, “shout out to the State Police” for putting the hammer down and prioritizing her mandates as gospel. She continued, “We don’t want to do it — New Mexicans are making us do it. And so are out-of-staters who are being cited.”
But despite the bad optics of the forcible masking, she claims the militant tactics have “increased mask-wearing” while berating Texas and Arizona, which she claimed were not wearing as many masks as New Mexico.
At the end of her press conference, Lujan Grisham said “New Mexicans are traveling out-of-state. They are not adhering to a 14-day quarantine — and you’re not supposed to be going out! Why are you going out of state? Vacations, family gatherings, unnecessary, unrequired business travel — I can see you at the airports, I can see it on Facebook. Our modelers and folks who look at that aggregate data, we know about it and we can see it coming up in contact tracing. You are taking the virus to other places, you are bringing that virus back. You are being unfair to New Mexico’s economy. Worse, you are putting new Mexicans in the hospital and some of them are losing their lives. Unacceptable.”
New Mexicans’ latest scolding by the Governor proves that there is no telling what the Governor will do to take control and usurp power from local law enforcers, as well as shame small businesses and citizens she deems as threats to her political plans.
On Friday. Lujan Grisham claimed she had a “heartbreakingly hard” decision to stave off opening New Mexico’s public schools, despite not seeming remorseful or heartbroken in the slightest in her Thursday press conference.