For months, prominent members of the New Mexico GOP have been misleading the public with offensive and untrue comments that put New Mexicans at risk
The Democratic Party of New Mexico today called on New Mexico GOP Chairman Steve Pearce to condemn local GOP leaders’ rhetoric about the COVID-19 outbreak and resulting stay at home orders. These comments include GOP officials devaluing the suffering faced in the Holocaust, attacking first responders who are putting their health at risk to keep us safe, and promoting baseless conspiracy theories about stay at home orders.
The New Mexico GOP is following in the footsteps of President Trump by spreading misinformation and conspiracy theories during a public health crisis. In just the last month, the president has suggested that Americans can combat the virus by injecting disinfectant, endorsed an unproven drug as a treatment, and made countless other dangerous and untruthful statements.
“In the middle of a public health crisis, misinformation and fear can threaten the health and safety of hundreds of New Mexicans,” said DPNM Chair Marg Elliston. “Our only focus should be getting clear, accurate information out to the public, so that we can keep our communities as safe as possible. Chairman Pearce should immediately condemn this dangerous rhetoric, which undercuts the hard work and sacrifices of all the essential workers who are putting themselves at risk every day.”
Let’s take a look at some of the GOP’s dangerous and offensive comments over the last few weeks:
GOP Lawmakers Have Degraded First Responders Who Are Putting Their Health At Risk to Protect New Mexicans By Comparing Their Actions To The “Gestapo” and a “Kent State Situation”
House Minority Whip Rod Montoya in the Albuquerque Journal: : “In a conference call with reporters, House Minority Whip Rod Montoya, R-Farmington, said the state needs to avoid a ‘Kent State situation’ – a reference to the Ohio National Guard’s shooting of protesters in 1970 – as State Police enforce public health orders”
Rep. Gregg Schmedes on Twitter: “Farmers & ranchers no longer essential in New Mexico. Gov Grisham’s gestapo slaps Bar G Western Wear in Portales, NM with cease & desist order. Where will our rural workers purchase protective work gear? #TooFar”
GOP Lawmakers Have Repeatedly Spread Misleading or Outright False Information, Endangering Public Health
Rep. Rod Montoya on Facebook: Representative Montoya shared a video that suggests that Dr. Anthony Fauci is a deep state agent, who knew about the COVID-19 pandemic in advance, and argues against life saving stay at home orders.
Rep. Rod Montoya on Facebook: Representative Montoya shared a story that has since been flagged by Facebook as misleading, because it claimed “the ongoing lockdowns throughout the United States and the rest of the world are almost certainly just prolonging the coronavirus outbreak rather than doing anything to truly mitigate it.” USA Today later fact checked the article and declared it “mostly false”
GOP Lawmakers Have Encouraged Undermining Lifesaving Stay at Home Orders, Risking the Further Spread of COVID-19
Minority Leader Jim Townsend Letter to Attorney General Barr: Minority Leader Townsend’s letter called essential stay at home orders a “trampling of of our citizens’ civil liberties” and requested that “the Department of Justice include the State of New Mexico within any civil rights violation inquiries”
Minority Leader Jim Townsend on Twitter: In response to Lea County considering reopening businesses before health experts advise is safe, Minority Leader Townsend posted: “Glad to see this conversation begin in locations like Lea County it makes sense and the people are encouraging you to act responsibly.”