Embattled Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and her advisors are still not ready to reopen New Mexico despite other Democrat-run states, such as California and New York are fully reopening.
The governor was absent from Wednesday’s COVID-19 briefing with New Mexico Human Services Secretary Dr. David Scrase and Health Secretary Dr. Tracie Collins.
During the pandemic briefing, the two cabinet secretaries ran around in circles trying to justify why New Mexico was still locked down while all neightboring states had reopened.
Scrase said in response to a question about the fully open state of Texas having the lowest seven-day positivity rating sinice the beginning of the pandemic, “I mentioned earlier, we have the highest social vulnerability index in America, poverty amongst older people, New Mexico is number one in America amongst all ages, we have a lot of social vulnerability.”
“Since the very beginning we have used New Mexico data for cases, the modeling from Presbyterian that’s been essential. When making our decisions based on what we believe is really safest and best. There’s always going to be a state that’s more open and I can’t really speak to the accuracy of the data of Texas or I don’t believe that necessarily being reopen caused case rates to be low. We’re doing what’s best for New Mexicans, we’ve done that from day one, we’ll continue to do that, we think we’re doing the right thing.”
Matt Bieber, NMDOH Director of Communications characterized the state of the pandemic in a much more frantic way, claiming the unvaccinated people are contributing to deaths and “pain and suffering.” Bieber said, “The pandemic doesn’t end just because we’ve hit 60 percent. It’s a moment in where we feel it’s safe to open much of the economy and do away with many of the restrictions in place. But you know this is a deadly virus, it’s still out there, there’s still a lot of unvaccinated people unfortunately and it still has opportunities to spread and mutate, and cause pain and suffering and unfortunately death as well.”
Dr. Collins said, “We are diligently working to achieve that [60 percent vaccinated] goal and we can have more updates for you by the end of the week but we’re definitely working towards that.”
The Governor has been bribing New Mexicans with $100 each, including children, to take the virus inoculation, along with $10 million in lottery prizes for those who have taken the jab. None of the three jabs available, Moderna, Pfizer, or Johnson & Johnson, have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.