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Freedom NM Rally October 3, 2020

Alamogordo Daily News

A crowd of people came together in Cloudcroft on Oct. 3 to protest Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s COVID-19 public health orders.

The group included members of Concerned Citizens of New Mexico who gathered in front of Mad Jacks Mountaintop Barbecue as part of the Freedom NM Rally.

Signs reading “Hitler required compliance too!” and “In New Mexico, the governor is the most dangerous virus.” were flashed at motorists and visitors. 

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Jesse James Gomez of the Roswell-based group Concerned Citizens of New Mexico spoke at the rally.

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“I want to say one thing: the most dangerous virus on New Mexico is not the Coronavirus, it is the governor,” Gomez said. “She has done more damage to the economy, to children’s health, to lives more than any virus ever could and I demand she resign immediately.”

An organizer of the rally who feared retaliation because of his opposition to the emergency public health orders called himself Mr. Benjamin.

“We are scaring our population into believing that our rights should be taken away,” Benjamin said. “Freedom means having your constitutional rights and we are losing them and that should not happen.”

More: New Mexico coronavirus: Woman in her 70s latest COVID-19 related death in Otero County

According to the World Health Organization, COVID-19 has infected more than 35 million people globally and killed more that 1 million.

The World Health Organization COVID-19 dashboard does not list recovery data. However, the New Mexico Department of Health dashboard provides data on the number of recoveries in the state.

Otero County has 279 positive cases, 13 deaths and 123 recoveries. Both the positive and recovery numbers are cumulative which means that both numbers will go up as cases and recoveries increase.

New Mexico has had 30, 477 positive cases reported, 892 deaths and 17,270 recoveries, according to the state Department of Health.

The most recent update to the health orders were announced by Lujan Grisham’s  Sept. 18.

The order renewed the original order from March 11 that advises New Mexicans to stay home except for essential trips out, allows restaurant occupancy up to 25 percent, and continued to the closure of public school districts in counties where infection rates continue to rise.

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Nicole Maxwell can be contacted by email at nmaxwell@alamogordonews.com, by phone at 575-415-6605 or on Twitter at @nicmaxreporter.

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