SANTA FE – New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham is sending campaign emails that accuse President Donald Trump of “single-handedly botching” the nation’s coronavirus response.
Governors including Lujan Grisham have been noticeably reluctant to criticize Trump publicly since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, as their state’s rely heavily on aid from the federal government to respond to the crisis and balance budgets.
In emails from her political committee in the run-up to the Nov. 3 election, Lujan Grisham, a Democrat, says Trump “refused to take action while knowing how deadly and dangerous COVID-19 would be.”
“Now, President Trump is asking New Mexico for a redo, a second chance. Unbelievable,” says the email that links to an opinion poll on whether Democrats will “win big” on Election Day.
New Mexico in May joined a cooperative pilot project with federal health authorities aimed at expanding sustainable testing capabilities and contact tracing, with a commitment to share successful virus-containment strategies that might be applied nationwide.
Lujan Grisham, whose first term runs through 2022, publicly addressed Trump by name in April as she said the president was welcome to visit New Mexico – if he wears a mask, avoids mass rallies and brings personal protection equipment to the state aboard Air Force One. She tweeted to thank Trump in July when the president wore a face mask in public for the first time.
Trump last visited New Mexico a year ago for a rally in Rio Rancho.
In other pandemic developments, state health officials responded last week to an increased number of virus outbreaks associated with work settings that trigger assistance for testing, disinfection and tracing of possible virus exposure, the Environment Department said Monday in a weekly report.
So-called rapid response incidents increased to 223 for the week of Sept. 14-20, up from 128 responses the previous week. Related workplaces ran the gamut from Los Alamos National Laboratory to big box retailers, a junior high school, fast food outlets and a farmers market.
Food industries accounted for 36 new rapid responses to COVID-19 cases, with 24 incidents at restaurants and nine at grocery stores.
Since the start of the program in May, the health care industry accounts for the largest portion of rapid responses from health officials, followed by retail and wholesale businesses, and then restaurants.