New Mexico Governor Accused of Causing ‘Modern Breadlines’ with Coronavirus Lockdown Orders

Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-NM), chairwoman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, delivers remarks following a meeting between U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly and members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus at the U.S. Capitol March 17, 2017 in Washington, DC. Kelly met with the group to answer questions on …
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New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) has been accused of fostering an environment for the creation of “modern breadlines” in her state, with photos showing dozens of people standing outside of grocery stores waiting to purchase food following her decision to lock down the state.

“Across the state, the elderly & sick are in these lines,” Trump campaign surrogate and former GOP Senate candidate Elisa Martinez said, providing a picture of a long line in front of a Walmart.

“Don’t be so naive to think that government & @GovMLG is interested in your health & well being. Or ‘science’ for that matter. If that were the case this wouldn’t be happening,” she said:

“Taking away protected rights, forcing citizens to stand in ‘bread lines’ & LYING about it—are all the actions of communist dictators,” she added in another tweet:

The long lines coincide with the Democrat governor’s decision to issue a stay-at-home order, demanding nonessential businesses to close for two weeks. Such businesses include salons and gyms, though businesses deemed essential are still expected to “minimize operations and in-person staffing to the greatest extent possible.” Those that remain open “may not exceed either 25 percent of the maximum occupancy as determined by the relevant fire marshal or more than 75 customers in the business space at any given time, whichever is lesser,” per the state’s website.

Essential retailers are required to close every night at 10 p.m. The state’s website adds that the stores “shall limit the sale of medications, durable medical equipment, baby formula, diapers, sanitary care products and hygiene products to three items per individual.”

According to KOB4, the governor’s order requires businesses “with four or more rapid responses in a 14-day period have to shut down for two weeks.” That has resulted in “a dozen grocery stores around the state” to close their doors.

Indoor dining services are also suspended during this period, which began on November 16. The Democrat governor’s order also prohibits “any gathering of more than five individuals.”

“New Mexicans are instructed to stay at home except for only those trips that are essential to health, safety and welfare – such as for food and water, emergency medical care, to obtain a flu shot or to obtain a test for COVID-19,” according to the state:

“We are in a life-or-death situation, and if we don’t act right now, we cannot preserve the lives, we can’t keep saving lives, and we will absolutely crush our current health care system and infrastructure,” Lujan Grisham said at the time.

Grisham’s office has rejected the notion that the governor’s orders are causing “modern breadlines.”

“The state is not forcing anyone to stand in a crowded line, as you suggest,” a spokesperson for Lujan Grisham said. A spokesman also referred to the pictures as a politically motivated “Republican talking point.”

Lujan Grisham’s office also provided a statement, stressing that “there is no community in the state of New Mexico where COVID-19 closures have closed off all food and water or medicine options for any community or group of people.”

It reads in part:

Every single community where the virus is forcing closures has alternate stores, alternate resources. Moreover, stores are only ordered closed for the protection of public safety when the store’s staff members have an abundance of COVID-19 infections among them – surely you and everyone in New Mexico can agree that not one of us would like to be shopping among staff that are contagious. If you are reporting on store closures, please include that fact, as it is critical to the context. To report on stores being closed without explaining that it is because the staff at those stores tested positive for COVID-19, posing a threat to the health of the community, would be a disservice to the public.

The shelter in place order will last through November 30.

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