For the first time in U.S. history, on May 12, 2020, the Governor of New Mexico has locked down an entire city, telling residents they cannot drive on the roads. Travel has ceased within the municipality with no one allowed in or out.
Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) responded to a request from the Mayor of Gallup by signing an executive order on May 1 to declare a state of emergency in the city under New Mexico’s Riot Control Act. Grisham claimed that people were not staying six feet apart from each other, causing more contagion.
The Riot Control Act authorizes the governor, while under a temporary state of emergency, to prohibit people from being on public streets and from using certain streets and highways, carrying firearms, assembling in public, and purchasing alcohol.
Emergency declarations under the Act expire after three days unless extended by the Governor.
The northwestern part of New Mexico – McKinley County and neighboring San Juan and Cibola counties – are considering to be at the most extreme heightened risk for infectious transmission. Gallup, with some 70,000 residents, is located on I-40.
The infection rate in Gallup is 12 times higher than in Albuquerque, the largest metropolitan area. The town serves the largest American Indian reservation, the Navajo Nation. Natives rely on shops and essential businesses in Gallup – and now, they are out of reach, shut off from the necessities of life.
Federal health officials linked the severity of the outbreak in Gallup to early cases at a detox center, followed by infections in the homeless community and nursing homes.
Executive Order 2020-027 states that Mayor Louie Bonaguidi claimed that Gallup “was in the throes of an unprecedented health crisis and that available medical resources had been stretched thin.”
Mayor Bonaguidi concluded that “the community would be unable to adequately address the COVID-19 outbreak without the imposition of restrictions necessary to regulate social distancing, public gatherings, sales of goods, and use of public streets.”
Here are the case numbers given in EO 2020-027 that are termed “alarming” and “a significant spike” in the number of COVID-19 cases in Gallup, between April 17 and May 1, in McKinley County:
Confirmed cases: 762 (up from 265)
Deaths: 19 (up from 3)
On May 12, the total number of COVID-19 cases in Gallup was reported as 1,585 with 50 deaths.
These numbers are suspect and likely inflated to build a case for perpetuating government control in violation of Americans’ civil rights. Evidence has surfaced that the American Medical Association (AMA) has written letters to doctors showing them how to complete every death certificate with COVID-19 as either the principal cause of death or contributory, even when that isn’t true.
Much was made in the governor’s order about “increasingly scarce medical resources” in Gallup, requiring these draconian “additional measures” to “begin the process of reducing infection rates in Gallup and the surrounding communities.”
EO 2020-027 acknowledged that invoking emergency powers under the Riot Control Act is a “drastic” step and this authority should be used “sparingly.” But the “pending health emergency” and the “particular exigencies at issue” (presumably, a taxed healthcare system), warrant the “extreme action.”
In Gallup, under the governor’s order, the following restrictions have been mandatory since May 1:
- Businesses close from 5 p.m. to 8 a.m.
- All roadways providing access to Gallup are closed and only Gallup residents, those who work in Gallup, and media members are allowed to enter the municipality
- No more than two people are allowed in any vehicle while the declaration is in force
- Gallup residents should shelter in place and stay at home except for emergencies related to “health, safety, or welfare”
Restrictions that blocked roadways into Gallup and prevented visitors from coming were slated to expire Friday evening, May 8, but Bonaguidi asked the governor to extend the emergency declaration, prolonging the Riot Act, to continue medical martial law in the city.
Gallup city police and McKinley County sheriff’s department are partnering with New Mexico State Police and Department of Transportation to enforce the emergency order and road closures. The New Mexico National Guard will also provide support to this effort in a non-law enforcement capacity.
Any state of emergency proclaimed under the Riot Control Act, along with any restrictions imposed for control of that emergency, terminates automatically at noon on the third day after it becomes effective unless sooner terminated by proclamation of the governor.
Constitutional rights protect Citizens from Government.
Now that governors across the nation have gone power-mad and are over-reacting to an infection rate similar to seasonal flu, including shutting off whole communities from the outside world, will these actions ultimately be found unconstitutional in federal courts?
Do Americans even care? After being told we needed to sacrifice our civil rights for “15 days to slow the spread” in March, now we’re facing an eternity of governmental overreach that will take decades to overcome – if it ever can.
Don’t roll over to totalitarians. Stand up for your rights – while you can. Share your thoughts with your elected officials – it’s the American way.