Yá’át’ééh abíní Relatives/Frens/Humans!
When I tuned into the Navajo Nation Council Naabik’iyati Committee State Task Force teleconference meeting yesterday, 7.10.20, Friday, the meeting had already started and State Task Force members, who are Council delegates, were informing someone that New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan-Grisham’s amended public health order July 10, 2020, was unfair to the Navajo people.
I later learned through listening to the Naabi State Task Force teleconference meeting that the Someone was New Mexico Patti Williams, lobbyist for NM Governor’s Navajo Nation Rapid Response Team.
Naabi State Task Force Chairman Mark Freeland, who represents the chapters of Becenti, NM; Lake Valley, NM; Nahodishgish, NM; Standing Rock, NM; Whiterock, NM; Huerfano, NM; Nageezi, NM, and Crownpoint, NM, informed Williams that a Navajo people drive off the Navajo Nation to shop at the towns surrounding the Navajo Nation. These towns are known as border towns.
Freeland emphasized to Williams that he did not want NM county and state going after Navajo people driving vehicles with out of state license plates. The Navajo people economically support New Mexico’s border towns and New Mexico should not be picking on the Navajo people, he noted. “This is a huge concern,” Freeland stressed.
Williams responded that NM is experiencing a “Surge” in its positive COVID-19 positive cases and deaths and so If you are driving a vehicle with Arizona or Utah license plates, you will be stopped by law enforcement, whether your are Navajo or not.
Naabi State Task Force member Otto Tso, who represents the To’ Nanees Dizi Chapter, informed Williams that the Task Force needed a copy of NM Gov. Lujan-Grisham’s amended public health order. Tso also reminded Williams that border town businesses buy ads from border town radio stations that are specifically advertised in the Navajo language to target Navajo People from across the Navajo Nation, which covers four states – Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah. He also pointed out that one of the Navajo language advertisements is from a border town business that touts its self as an in-law to the Navajo People. Tso made a very subtle warning to Williams that perhaps the Navajo People need to Boycott border towns if that is how NM is going to treat the Navajo People.
And how does Williams respond?
Williams tells Freeland, Tso and the rest of the Naabik’iyati State Force Force, who are the Navajo Nation’s law makers, “The state of New Mexico probably took their lead from the Navajo Nation when you closed your borders for public health reasons. They’re probably thinking the borders of New Mexico should be closed for public health reasons. And they’re not closed.”
The 7.10.20 Naabik’iyati Committee State Task Force meeting is recorded and so listen to Williams report to the State Task Force and let me know if she sounds like New Mexico governor and Williams are still butt hurt over the Navajo Nation closing its borders…LOL
Anyway, Freeland tells Williams in no uncertain terms, “The Navajo Nation is a sovereign.” He also emphasized that the concerns expressed by him and Tso are “legitimate” and he will be presenting a full report to the Naabi’iyati Committee.
Meanwhile, I found NM Governor 7.10.20 amended public health order, which states that its effective Monday, July 13. And yes NM will not close its borders, but if you have an out of state license plate and you cross into NM, you are legally bound to self-isolate or quarantine for 14 days. If you do not self-isolate or quarantine for 14-days, then legal means will be used to make you self-isolate or quarantine for 14-days.
According to the NM Public Health Orders and Executive Orders web page for Public Health Order 2020-054, “Amended Order Directing Individuals Traveling To New Mexico To Self-Isolate Or Self-Quarantine For A Limited Period And Directing The New Mexico Department Of Health To Initiate Lawful Isolation And Quarantine Proceedings For Individuals Who Do Not Self-Isolate Or Self-Quarantine.”
Williams also informed the Naabi State Task Force that NM Public Health Order 2020-054 was issued in early July but was not enforced. NM Public Health Order 202-054-2 is to enforce the state’s Travel Restrictions and 14-day self-isolate/quarantine.
Acting Gallup Independent editor Christina Tsosie contacted New Mexico officials Friday and was informed that the state would be issuing a press release about NM Public Health Order 2020-054-2 Monday, July 13, 2020. I sure hope New Mexico does because – as usual – NM Gov. Lujan-Grisham lacks clarity, which ultimately results in confusion, a mountain of questions, and an outhouse of vague state answers.
I remember when i asked NM Gov. Lujan Grisham, during one of her recorded teleconference press conferences on her Facebook page, why she did not immediately shut down NCI detox center in Gallup, NM, when individuals taken to NCI were identified as positive for COVID-19 in early April by the Gallup Indian Medical Center and NCI director Dr. Kevin Foley did nothing. As a result of Dr. Kevin Foley sitting on his hands, an estimated 89 individuals, who were in contact with the individual who tested positive and who also tested positive themselves, walked out of NCI without anyone knowing where they went. NM Gov. Lujan-Grisham’s first response to my question was that the state could not close every essential service provider when there is a positive case. Lujan-Grisham’s answer and my questions are recorded on her FB page. I’ll look for the specific date and do an update
I’m not sure what happened after Lujan-Grisham blurted out her initial answer but within a few minutes, she had changed her tune and was carrying on about why it’s critical to shut down programs, businesses, etc., when a positive case is identified. I’m guessing that someone yanked the governor off state with a long cane and set her straight.
So what does Lujan-Grisham do next after getting properly informed about NCI? She immediately – without notice – welds the State’s Riot Control Act to Shuts-Down Gallup and McKinley County, at the request of the Gallup Mayor Jackie McKinney. CBS headlined its May 2, 2020, news story of the Shut Down with the following headline: “All roads into Gallup are closed are closed over “uninhibited” COVID-19 spread.”
CBS quoted Gallup mayor Jack McKinney describing the city’s outbreak as a “crisis of the highest order. The virus has caused many deaths, stretched medical facilities and resources to their capacity, and adversely impacted the welfare of the city of Gallup. Our community is unable to adequately address the outbreak without the imposition of certain restrictions necessary to regulate social distancing, public gatherings, sales of good, and the use of public streets.”
But NM Gov. Lujan-Grisham and Gallup mayor McKinney FAIL to informed the public and media that the Surge in Gallup and McKinley County is due to the biggest known medical idiot, Dr. Kevin Foley, in Gallup, McKinley County and the state for not obeying state, federal and Navajo Nation public health orders for social distancing, reporting positive COVID-19 cases, protecting individuals under protective custody at NCI and NCI employees, and self-isolating and quarantining those individuals, instead of just letting them wander out the door into the streets of Gallup, McKinley County, New Mexico, and the Navajo Nation. And so the decision by Lujan-Grisham and McKinney not to fully inform the public and media about how the Deadly Surge in COVID-19 cases and deaths in Gallup started from NCI, which Dr. Kevin Foley was paid to operate. For me, Dr. Kevin Foley is the biggest medical idiot working and living in Gallup, in McKinley County and in New Mexico. Dr. Kevin Foley closed his eyes, mind, heart to the individuals brought to NCI for protective custody. And as a result, the Navajo people were blamed for New Mexico’s surge and the immediate closure of Gallup and McKinley County.
I found out about what happened at NCI from NCI employees who really cared about the individuals being taken to NCI for so-called protective custody. In separate interviews with NCI staff, I was told about how Dr. Kevin Foley directed NCI staff to put individuals taken to NCI for protective custody into ONE room. The NCI staff said these individuals that were taken to NCI were highly intoxicated. The NCI employees said they begged Dr. Kevin Foley to comply with federal and state public health orders for social distancing and masks. Dr. Kevin Foley’s response was to go to his office and close his door. That was also his answer when his staff requested PPEs. Some of the NCI employees eventually tested positive. And some of these NCI employees are from the Navajo Nation and Pueblo of Zuni.
I have not heard about any investigation into what happened at NCI, if Dr. Kevin Foley was investigated and stripped of his medical license, the status of the NCI employees that tested positive, the status of the individuals who were taken to NCI and dumped into one room, the status of the individuals who were taken to NCI and tested positive, and the status of NCI.
I found out about NCI and the 89 individuals from a verbal report by Navajo Area Indian Health Service Director Roselyn Tso to the Navajo Nation Council Health, Education & Human Services Committee. I requested information about the NCI incident from the NM Department of Health and the Governor’s Office. I never received any information. Meanwhile, the Navajo people were targeted as COVID-19 carriers, etc., and held up as the Scape Goat for the massive mind-blowing bungling of NM Gov. Lujan-Grisham, Dr. Foley, Gallup mayor McKinney, McKinley County, and New Mexico.
Oh yes, I forgot to mention that Navajo Area IHS Director Roselyn Tso reported to the Health, Education & Human Services that she spoke with Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez about what was happening at NCI and he never provided a solution, which is why she decided to inform the Health, Education & Human Services about NCI.
New Mexico and Arizona sit on a huge portion of Dine’ Ancestral Lands, which also reach into Colorado and Utah. Gallup sits on Dine’ Ancestral Land. McKinley County sits on Dine’ Ancestral Land. New Mexico sits on Indigenous Ancestral Homeland. That is a Fact/Truth! The USA sits on Ancestral Homeland and that FACT/TRUTH was UPHELD when the US Supreme Court ruled that half of Oklahoma is Creek Nation Ancestral Homeland.
The following is a 7.10.20 press release from the NM Department of Transportation: New Mexico travel restrictions in effect
SANTA FE – The state of New Mexico is under a mandatory health advisory issued by Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham to protect against the spread of COVID-19.
Anyone crossing a border into the state must adhere to the New Mexico public health travel restrictions as outlined in Executive Order 2020-054, until further notice.
Be aware: Businesses and law enforcement agencies are strictly enforcing the following restrictions for in and out of state travelers.
Are the borders closed in New Mexico?
No. The surrounding borders are not closed. State roads remain open.
Will travelers with out of state plates be stopped by law enforcement or turned away at the borders?
No. Unless law enforcement has reason to believe you are breaking the law or not adhering to the health advisory, you will not be stopped or forced to leave the state.
Does everyone in New Mexico have to wear a mask?
Yes. Mask-wearing is mandatory in public for all individuals over the age of two, except when eating or drinking. Masks are required for all activities indoor or outdoor. This includes gyms, malls, grocery stores, private businesses, public parks, golf courses, shooting ranges, walking spaces and when sitting
down at restaurants prior to being served.
Are restaurants open?
Indoor seating is prohibited inside restaurants. Only patio, pick-up and curb-side service are available at this time.
Is there a punishment if I choose not to wear a mask?
Yes. If caught without a mask in public, you are subject to a $100 fine.
What if I live in New Mexico and I want to travel out of state? Do I have to self-quarantine when I return?
The mandatory health advisory is very clear. If you cross over the borders of New Mexico, you must self-quarantine for 14 days when you return home.
Are there any exceptions to the quarantine order?
Yes. Persons who are employed or contracted by an essential business traveling into the state to conduct business activities, persons employed by airlines, those performing public safety or public health functions, military personnel, federal employees, those employed by a federal agency or national
defense contractor, emergency first responders, health care workers, those arriving in the state pursuant to a court order do not have to quarantine for 14 days or for the duration of their time in the state, whichever is shorter, though all should follow COVID-safe best practices: Wear a face-covering in public and keep physical distance from others and limit travel outside of the home or place of lodging to only the essentials.
Can I visit state parks in New Mexico if I live out of state?
No. State parks are closed to out of state visitors at this time. You will not be permitted into a state park if you cannot show proof of residency. For those who live in New Mexico, you can only visit state parks during the day. Camping overnight is not allowed.
Can out of state visitors come into New Mexico for a day hike?
Not right now. New Mexico enjoys visitors but now is not a good time to visit. Unless you plan to quarantine for 14 days after you arrive.
What if I take my family camping in a different state and we spend our time outdoors, away from other people, adhering to social distancing? Do we all have to self-quarantine when we return?
Yes. Even if you spend time outdoors, wearing masks and social distancing in another state, you must self-quarantine when you return to New Mexico for 14 days.
Do out of state visitors have to self-quarantine even if they own a home in New Mexico?
Yes. If visitors or part-time residents plan to stay in New Mexico longer than two weeks for any reason, you must self-quarantine for the first 14 days when coming in from another state.
If you are staying in New Mexico for fewer than two weeks, you also must self-quarantine for the duration of your stay or up to 14 days, whichever is shorter. (For example, if you plan to stay at a hotel
for two nights before leaving the state, you must self-quarantine for the duration of your stay.)
Does that apply to people in RV’s as well?
Yes. Travelers must self-quarantine wherever they are staying.
What if travelers are simply passing through New Mexico to get to another destination in a different state?
This is not a time to shop for souvenirs, visit state parks or sight see. Please recognize that if you are traveling amid a global pandemic you are bringing the risk of a highly contagious and lethal virus with you and taking it with you as you go. You must wear a face-covering if you are in public while in the state. Please limit your activities to only the essentials.
What if I’m a trucker and have to make deliveries in New Mexico?
Most trucking services fall under the logistical transporting functions incorporated in the essential businesses of the state’s operative emergency public health order and are exempt from the quarantine requirement. But all visitors in the state are still required to wear face-coverings and follow COVID safe best practices.
The NMDOT sincerely appreciates your cooperation