Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham touted New Mexico’s coronavirus pandemic response and mentioned the components which have helped the state turn out to be a nationwide chief in COVID-19 vaccine distribution Tuesday throughout a one-on-one on-line interview with the Washington Publish.
Within the half-hour interview with reporter Eugene Scott, Lujan Grisham credited relationships cast early within the pandemic with the state’s successes within the vaccine rollout.
Because the Pfizer vaccine first turned out there in December, New Mexico has been among the many prime states within the nation within the proportion of administering the doses it receives, at greater than 90 p.c.
Lujan Grisham mentioned the state’s centralized public well being supply system, its sturdy public-private partnerships and its knowledge registry system to join the vaccine have resulted in a extra environment friendly distribution infrastructure.
“We coordinated on [personal protective equipment], on testing. We did all of that work a 12 months in the past,” Lujan Grisham mentioned. “So when it got here time for the vaccines, we did the identical effort. We leveraged private and non-private people.”
Lujan Grisham mentioned the state is at present able to administering 50,000 doses per day, however that it’s “nowhere near that” on account of a restricted provide.
She mentioned that ought to enhance quickly with the Meals and Drug Administration’s approval of the Johnson & Johnson one-dose vaccine over the weekend.
The statewide positivity price has plummeted in current weeks as new day day case counts have dropped considerably from only a few months in the past. Lujan Grisham mentioned Tuesday the statewide positivity price is now beneath three p.c.
“We’re seeing case counts low sufficient that we imagine that vaccines account for 20 p.c of that unimaginable discount,” she mentioned.
The state Division of Well being’s vaccine fairness plan, introduced final week, additionally was a subject of debate.
In a state with a big minority inhabitants, Lujan Grisham mentioned the Division of Well being felt it wasn’t doing sufficient to assist at-risk populations.
“We appeared on the knowledge, and we determined we may do two issues higher,” Lujan Grisham mentioned. “One, we will get far more granular on the ZIP code stage to actually make it possible for we’re reaching high-risk minorities.
“And two, we’re really going to make use of census knowledge as we go granular in order that we have now a vulnerability index issue that appears at all the things from socioeconomic standing to your minority or racial standing and family circumstances.”
Lujan Grisham mentioned about 25 p.c of vaccine doses might be devoted to communities which are most in danger for greater mortality charges and COVID-19 problems. The state will evaluation the info every week to find out whether or not it’s undertaking its targets to succeed in these teams successfully, she added.
Lujan Grisham was additionally requested about critics who say her aggressive public well being restrictions crushed New Mexico’s financial system.
On Tuesday, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott mentioned he’ll raise masks mandates in his state and that each one companies might be allowed to function at 100 p.c capability beginning March 10.
This prompted Republican Occasion of New Mexico Chairman Steve Pearce to launch an announcement Tuesday that mentioned, “It’s time for Gov. Lujan Grisham to get up and notice that New Mexicans are craving a traditional life. She’s destroyed companies, killed livelihoods and promoted despair throughout the New Mexico along with her random and illogical decrees.”
Lujan Grisham mentioned in Tuesday’s interview the state’s restricted well being care sources required aggressive restrictions with a view to forestall hospitals from changing into overwhelmed, however she admits there’s been a major toll on the financial system.
“Let’s personal that companies had been misplaced, livelihoods had been misplaced and diminished, and the monetary insecurity for a lot too many New Mexicans and much too many Individuals is actual, which is why the rescue plan is so essential to us,” she mentioned. “However we additionally stepped up as a state.”
The state has tried to scale back the financial impression with two particular periods that offered monetary aid to companies, and Lujan Grisham famous that way of payments handed within the present legislative session, about $700 million in grants and low-interest loans might be distributed to assist companies and financial funding.
She mentioned the federal stimulus bundle, but to be handed the Senate, can even be very important in offering wanted aid to those that are struggling.
“We imagine that this provides us the most effective alternative to form of jump-start the financial system once more and to shore up companies,” Lujan Grisham mentioned, “together with permitting them to make use of the sources that we’ve put aside to take care of landlord-tenant points, lease and mortgage points, utility points, all the above, which is why this rescue plan is essential to New Mexico.”