MLG, City of ABQ deny reports of airlifting AZ COVID-19 patients to NM for treatment

On Monday, there was confusion on social media about a report from AZ Central claiming COVID-19 patients from Arizona would be air-lifted to New Mexico for treatment. According to the report, patients would be flown in at Mile Stadium in Albuquerque to receive care from New Mexico health care facilities. 

KIVA radio show host Eddy Aragon of the “Rock of Talk” visited the helipad on Monday, getting on video the newly-painted helipad and newly-implemented asphalt parking lines for ambulances. He spoke with some alleged healthcare workers who told him they were from Presbyterian and said he was being “disrespectful” for going to the scene.

But since Aragon’s report, the AZ Central article was updated, claiming patients will not for sure be sent from Arizona, but that “the helipad has been built in case of a surge of patients.”

When asked on Twitter if patients from Arizona would be flown into Albuquerque for treatment, the City of Albuquerque flatly denied the claim, writing, “The news article published regarding this was in error. There are no plans to airlift patients from Arizona to Albuquerque.”

According to a report from KOB 4 News, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s office also denied that Arizona patients would not be flown to New Mexico for treatment. “It’s a part of transporting patients within New Mexico when the surge hits,” the spokesperson said.

Presbyterian Hospital spokesperson Melanie Mozes said the Arizona article is grossly inaccurate. “The extra helipad will only be used should a surge of COVID-19 patients happen,” she said.

The helipad is undeniably at Milne Stadium, and the previously published news article did explicitly note that Arizona COVID-19 patients would be airlifted to New Mexico for treatment, but since that has been walked back.

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