During Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s Thursday press conference, she announced new regressive restrictions on New Mexicans, this time banning indoor dining at restaurants, banning contact sports for kids going back to school in the Fall, forcing people working out to wear face masks (both at in-person facilities and outdoors, and banning out-of-state visitors from state parks.
During the press conference, she blamed New Mexicans for a recent spike in cases, which Human Services Secretary David Scrase claims shot up 79% in a recent 16-day period. Lujan Grisham said, “Unfortunately, our state’s dramatically rising case numbers reflect that those behavior modifications and precautions have either not been taken seriously or taken up by enough people.”
The Governor continued, “Too many of us are still congregating in groups, taking risks with our own lives and endangering the health of our family members, our neighbors and our state.”
However, some of the Governor’s advice seemed to conflict, particularly that about gathering in groups. Lujan Grisham said, “Please wear facemasks. Please don’t gather in large groups without them,” while later tweeting “Wear a mask. Stay home. Do not gather in groups. Take the risk seriously”
So, which piece of advice are New Mexicans expected to follow? Are they supposed to not gather in groups, or are they supposed to gather in large groups but only if they have a face mask? The Governor’s advice appears all over the place.
The new restrictions come as new cases of COVID-19 appear to be affecting younger populations more, Secretary Scrase saying that dults in their 20s are an increasing share of the infections.
Coincidentally, protesters, which Michelle Lujan Grisham applauded for protesting for “racial justice,” some in violent means, are still taking to the streets in protest. Just this week, KRQE 13 reported on a Black Lives Matter protest in uptown Albuquerque. But Lujan Grisham vehemently rejects the notion that these protests are spreading the virus, despite indicators showing otherwise.
According to Pew Research, 41% of those who recently attended a protest focused on race were younger than 30. Nationwide, only 19% of people are in this age group, so statistically, they were overrepresented by over 100% at protests. It just so happens that people contracting COVID-19 are in their 20s and 30s, which lights up directly with the spike in recent cases. However, Lujan Grisham denies it being a factor in the spread of coronavirus. And with the Governor’s conflicting advice, it may give protesters and rioters justification for taking to the streets in protest.
Full details about Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s latest restrictions can be found in the press release from her office linked here.