On Wednesday, New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham announced “aggressive enforcement” of her mask order, mandating $100 fines for all who dare defy it, with businesses up against the threat of being charged with a misdemeanor.
And on Thursday, New Mexico Gov. Lujan Grisham took to Twitter to scold people under the age of 40 for spreading COVID-19, citing how “60% of COVID-19 cases reported since Sunday are New Mexicans under the age of 40.” She reprimanded them, writing, “Act right. Do not gather in groups. Wear a mask.”
However, that’s a complete shift from her previous position, where she applauded and praised the “thousands of New Mexicans who peacefully protested in Albuquerque” in late May after the death of George Floyd sparked protests and riots nationwide. She went on to announce that “The state of New Mexico will stand ready to assist local governments in facilitating peaceful protests.”
She also acknowledged that these protests were a violation of her strict mass gatherings policy, but said they were fine she was going to “take a leap of faith” in protecting the protesters blatantly violating her rules.
She said, “This is a violation of the mass gatherings, no doubt, but we’re just going to take a leap of faith in protecting protesters who have no other way, quite frankly. Right? There’s no other way to be seen, to be heard, to be respected, and to be clear about your message.”
But now, after she has applauded these “thousands” of protesters, some of whom did not wear masks or social distance, she’s backtracking after she’s allowed these mass gatherings of people.
While scolding young folks for spreading coronavirus, she wrote, “Young New Mexicans – you are NOT IMMUNE.” And these young people she’s blaming for spreading COVID-19 most likely spread it because they were at a protest.
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.
Now, the Governor is doing damage control, trying to distance herself from her previous praise of the protesters taking to the streets in the thousands, saying, “I encourage them to continue demonstrating in a peaceful and safe fashion.” Clearly, they did not heed her advice to protest in a “peaceful and safe fashion,” especially since photographic evidence shows many protesters did not wear masks and were not standing six feet apart.