Gov. Lujan Grisham to take part in White House meeting - Albuquerque Journal

Gov. Lujan Grisham to take part in White House meeting

Copyright © 2021 Albuquerque Journal

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham

SANTA FE – Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham traveled to Washington, D.C., on Thursday at the invitation of President Joe Biden to take part in a White House meeting about federal COVID-19 relief measures.

The trip marked the first time out of New Mexico for Lujan Grisham since the pandemic hit the state in March.

It also came just one day after the governor announced a 14-day travel quarantine order for those entering New Mexico from most other states would be phased out, effective Thursday.

But the travel quarantine order would likely not have applied to her trip to Washington, D.C., since it exempted official business travel, military personnel and those who leave the state to obtain medical treatment.

And a Lujan Grisham spokeswoman said Thursday the decision to lift the travel restrictions was made before the White House invitation was extended.

The governor, who was considered for a Cabinet position in the Biden administration, has been a vocal supporter of the president’s proposed relief package, which is called the American Rescue Plan.

The plan would provide an estimated $350 billion in financial aid to states and local governments and increase vaccine supply.

Before Biden was inaugurated last month, Lujan Grishsam lodged frequent criticism of former President Donald Trump’s handling of the pandemic.

In a recent op-ed for Newsweek, Lujan Grisham said she and other Democratic governors were left to fill a “galling void of leadership” by enacting face mask mandates, imposing travel restrictions and seeking out personal protective equipment for front-line health care workers.

“With the Biden administration taking the reins, we are moving into a new phase where we can and will get our arms around the immense logistical challenges of vaccine distribution and ultimately end this heinous pandemic,” the governor wrote in her op-ed.

Lujan Grisham, who was recently elected as chairwoman of the Democratic Governors Association, has been working remotely from the Governor’s Mansion in Santa Fe for the last several months.

She will be part of a bipartisan group of governors and mayors attending the Friday meeting at the White House and is scheduled to return to New Mexico after the meeting ends, according to the Governor’s Office.

Per the state Constitution, Lt. Gov. Howie Morales serves as acting governor while Lujan Grisham is traveling outside the state’s borders.

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