Updated: October 24, 2020 09:12 PM
Created: October 24, 2020 06:50 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Hundreds of people packed the steps at the Roundhouse in Santa Fe Saturday to protest the governor’s public health orders and her response to the coronavirus pandemic.
"What you're doing right now is only creating revolt rather than compromise. Of course there's going to be setbacks if we open up, but we'll roll with the punches. The spirit of New Mexicans is resilient," said one speaker at the protest.
Recently, the governor increased efforts to slow the spread of COVID and stressed the need to wear a mask and social distance. The protesters, however, disagree with some of her decisions.
"And I think shutting the entire state down for less than a percent of people dying from COVID is just ridiculous,” said Daniel Murphy, a protester. “You have a greater chance getting into a car wreck on the way home. Are we going to shut down the highways for that? It's just fiscally irresponsible."
Other speakers at the protest included medical professionals, student athletes, church leaders and people running for office. Many protesters were seen without masks on and were not social distancing.
KOB 4 reached out to the governor’s office about the protest and a spokesperson sent the following statement:
"The virus is real. The data is not open to debate. The ‘restrictions’ are life-saving. New Mexico set another record for cases in a single day today. Our hospitals have never been closer to capacity. The deaths will follow and they are needless. The protesters are welcome to express that they do not care about New Mexicans getting sick and New Mexicans dying, but they are not welcome to their own set of facts about the pandemic. I am sure your coverage will call out any falsehoods you might have heard today and won't amplify dangerous fact-free anti-science rhetoric."
Regardless, protesters said they want restrictions to end.
"Moving forward? Lift the shut down. We don't need it. If you want to stay home because you're scared that is totally fine. America is about choices,” said Jordan Danielle, a protester.
"If you're scared and worried about catching it, stay home—and common sense is a huge issue. If you're sick and you have symptoms, stay home," Murphy added.
On Saturday, state officials reported 875 new COVID cases—a record number of daily cases—and five additional deaths.
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