Don't open businesses early and give up our hard-earned health gains - Albuquerque Journal

Don’t open businesses early and give up our hard-earned health gains

Recently, the Doña Ana County Commission voted 4-1 to adopt a resolution, without seeking health care expert advice, demanding the governor allow businesses to open prior to the expiration of the May 15​ stay-at-home order. This is an ill-advised and dangerous political ploy – not to mention an affront to all of the health care workers, first responders, child care workers and so many others who have sacrificed and risked for all of us as we work together to fight this pandemic, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and all the efforts of her Cabinet, everyone who has sacrificed by schooling or working at home, going on unemployment or temporarily closing their business for the sake of stopping the community spread of COVID-19 and to save lives.

I, along with all legislators, have been in close communication with the Governor’s Office, and I have sent messages to the members of the Economic Recovery Council, a representation of statewide business owners, and asked them to reach out to businesses in District 37, the east side of Las Cruces, for their input. We can be assured that these council members are working together and that responsible modifications to business closures are forthcoming in the near future.

New Mexico has taken early and absolutely necessary measures to protect the health and safety of our citizens. We can’t undermine these sacrifices before we have the statistical information we need, and we shouldn’t undo the flattening of the curve that has been gained.

The recovery council is contemplating the careful steps that need to be taken by businesses when it is time to open and assure the protection of patrons from contracting the virus.

I understand the anxiety that small-business owners are going through. I have close family members anxious to get back to work, take care of their employees and generate income. The reason we are investing in unemployment and business relief is so we can beat this pandemic, not just go halfway and give up. We need to see this through, and only data will let us know when it will be safe and with what precautions.

When we have fewer new cases, deaths and can test and track any further outbreaks, we will be able to implement the recovery council plan. Please, New Mexico, don’t succumb to the political whims of the uninformed – stand strong with careful consideration of the Economic Recovery Council that joins the science of health with the innovation of business to recommend the rollout of safely opening businesses in our state.


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