New Mexico closes grocery stores in lockdown ‘reset’ as food insecurity grows
ALBUQUERQUE, New Mexico, November 24, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — Amidst rising unemployment and worries about sourcing food, the governor of New Mexico forced grocery stores to close as part of the latest COVID-19 lockdown.
Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s latest rules in the New Mexico “reset” have resulted in “businesses with four or more rapid responses of COVID-19 cases reported within in a 14-day period to close for two weeks.”
Grisham’s new rules stipulate that essential stores, including grocery stores, must operate on a reduced schedule, “have no more than 75 customers inside or exceed 25 percent of maximum occupancy at any time, whichever is smaller,” and must also close by 10 p.m.
The Washington Examiner reports that by Monday afternoon, “[m]ore than 25 essential businesses were shut down,” due to positive tests for COVID-19 among staff. Of this number, “nearly half were grocery stores or major retailers.”
When asked to justify her laws, Grisham answered last week, “You can’t have a grocery store or another big box store that sells groceries if all of the employees or the vast majority of them have COVID.”
However, despite Grisham referring to “all” or “the vast majority” of employees being infected with COVID-19, her new laws order the closure of any business “following the occurrence of four (4) or more” positive cases of the virus “within a fourteen (14) day period.”
KOB 4 reports that people living in southeast New Mexico “said they’re worried a lack of options in rural communities will force people to travel out of state or to stand in line at other stores and cause the virus to spread.”
One of Gov. Grisham’s spokesmen said, “The state is not forcing anyone to stand in a crowded line, as you suggest,” and that talk of long lines outside stores was simply “politically motivated,” and even a “Republican talking point.”
In response, the Pinon Post provided numerous photographs, documenting the lines of people queuing outside stores, both before and after the governor’s edict. The Pinon Post described the statements as “inaccurate” and “ignoring reality.”
The Republican Party of New Mexico also responded to the governor’s spokesman, saying, “Visit any grocery store in NM & then tell all those people in line that they are just ‘Republican talking points’.”
The governor’s office sent a press statement to KOB 4 in reference to the story: “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. 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.”
A study by Feeding America showed that New Mexico was ranked 5th most concerning on the chart, with 434,570 people projected to be without proper access to food this year. Of that predicted number, 162,960 would be children. The figures show a rise of just under 120,000 people with “food insecurity” compared to the previous year.
While lockdowns are being reintroduced across the globe in supposed attempts to combat the spread of COVID-19, studies are proving that such measures are ineffective. Conducted by the Heritage Foundation, a paper in July examined the United States, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, Italy, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, and Iran. The study found that lockdowns “are less effective at combating COVID-19 than strategies more narrowly targeted at those most in danger.”
More recently, the American Institute for Economy Research (AIER) issued a report re-affirming the findings that lockdowns cause widespread damage to normal life. The AIER showed that lockdowns significantly detrimentally affected mental health, unemployment figures, crime rates and healthcare.