Updated: May 14, 2020 05:31 PM
Created: May 14, 2020 03:06 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.- Republicans are blasting Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham over her latest public health order. They do not believe it goes far enough in reopening the state.
Steve Pearce, chairman of the Republican Party of New Mexico, says the governor has been slow to reopen the state.
“A lot of these small businesses are not going to open again," Pearce said. "That’s the travesty of what the governor has done by not giving fairness under the law to all businesses.”
Starting Saturday, retail businesses can operate at 25% capacity, and houses of worship can have 10% capacity.
"What happens to the 90% of the faithful who still want to go to church," Pearce said. "Again, you can have social distance in church. You can keep the five-foot spacing, six-foot spacing, whatever it is. You can wear a mask or whatever safety precautions that the medical experts say that we want to follow. But give them equal access to operate as you do the big box stores.”
Also starting Saturday, all New Mexicans will be required to wear face masks in public places, which the governor says is necessary to slow the spread as the state begins to reopen.
The governor has said the phased approach to reopening is due to threat of the virus. However, Pearce questions that rationale.
"If we’re going to see a spike in cases by opening too quick, we would already be skyrocketing because people are jammed into the big box stores," Pearce said. "What she’s saying does not really make sense. If it’s as unsafe to gather in a small business, then it’s equally for more unsafe to gather with hundreds in the big box stores.”
The governor's office did not respond to Pearce's criticism.
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