The president of the Albuquerque Tea Party filed a federal lawsuit this week against Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, accusing her of violating his constitutional rights by issuing emergency orders to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Leland Taylor said in his complaint, filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court, that the illness caused by the new strain of coronavirus is not serious enough for emergency orders, enforcement of restrictions on socializing is impossible, and the orders deny him the right to free assembly and worship.
Taylor also claimed in his suit that an antimalarial drug has a “100% cure rate” for COVID-19.
President Donald Trump falsely claimed on Twitter recently that the Food and Drug Administration had approved an untested combination of an antimalarial and an antibiotic as a cure for the illness. Trump’s own experts said the president’s claim oversimplified and misrepresented scientific studies.
Three tests have been conducted to analyze the effects of antimalarial drugs on COVID-19, but they have limited value. Sample sizes used in a study in France were too small; a test in China had unverified results; and other testing was conducted on cultures in laboratories, not on people.
The World Health Organization announced last week it would conduct trials of four possible treatments — including antimalarial medication — on thousands of people across the world.
Nora Meyers Sackett, a spokeswoman for the Governor’s Office, said the claims in Taylor’s suit were based on dangerous misinformation.
“If widely disseminated, [the misinformation] will do nothing but worsen this crisis in our state and lead to more illnesses and death,” Sackett said in an email.
Taylor is asking for $500,000 per day since March 13, when the governor’s first order was issued, and $1 million a day since another order issued Monday.