After working as a registered nurse for 11 years, Hollie Ortiz said she’s prepared to quit her job in a matter of days over a state mandate requiring hospital and other employees in congregate settings to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

The 33-year-old said Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has no business mandating what people should put in their bodies.

“We’re not saying, ‘Don’t get the vaccine.’ We’re not saying, ‘Get the vaccine.’ We’re saying to the governor, ‘We want the choice to put an experimental vaccine in our body, not to be forced,’ ” said Ortiz, who was one of about 200 people who converged near the entrance of the state Capitol on Friday to protest the public health order. The order, issued Tuesday by Dr. David Scrase, the state’s human services secretary and acting secretary of the Department of Health, requires hospital and congregate care facility workers — which includes nursing homes, residential treatment centers and state correctional facilities — to be vaccinated within 10 days of Aug. 17 or risk losing their jobs.

Protesters said the mandate will make staffing shortages in the health care industry, particularly in hospitals, even worse. At the beginning of the week, the Department of Health issued an “urgent call” for nurses at hospitals statewide. Officials said an increase in hospitalizations not just from a surge in COVID-19 cases but delayed care or postponed surgeries is stressing New Mexico’s hospital system.

There are only a handful of exemptions to the state mandate. They include a qualifying medical condition, a disability or a sincerely held religious belief, according to the public health order. Employees who qualify for an exemption are required to undergo weekly COVID-19 testing and provide documentation.

“The safety and health of New Mexico’s seniors is paramount,” Aging and Long-Term Services Secretary Katrina Hotrum-Lopez said in a statement when the mandate was handed down.

However, the government measures have also sparked stiff opposition from some of the workers required to follow the mandate.

When one of the speakers at Friday’s protest asked the crowd how many people were ready to walk off the job, several dozen raised their hands.

“We will walk! We will walk!” the group chanted.

Nora Meyers Sackett, the governor’s press secretary, defended the mandate.

New Mexico hospitals are rapidly approaching crisis standards of care in which health care has to be rationed “because of unvaccinated New Mexicans spreading a highly infectious and incredibly dangerous virus despite the widespread availability and efficacy of vaccines,” she wrote in an email.

“Health care workers are trusted to care for and save the lives of New Mexicans in their most vulnerable moments, which is why it is of critical importance that they be vaccinated,” she wrote. “Vaccines are required in certain high-risk settings, right now, because anything less is irresponsible and will lead to sickness and potentially death, needless death, and the governor and her administration have been consistent throughout this pandemic in acting on her commitment to limit and prevent needless sickness and death.”

Julian Baca, who has worked at the state penitentiary for 13 years, called the mandate “completely unconstitutional.”

“My brothers and sisters, we’re not anti-vaccine,” Baca, who wore a black T-shirt emblazoned with the words ‘Freedom is paid for with the blood of patriots,’ told the crowd.

“It’s your choice,” he said. “If you want to vaccinate your kid, want to vaccinate your family, hey, more power to you. God bless you. That’s your choice. But this isn’t right, you know what I mean? This isn’t right for them to force it down our throat.”

The risk of unemployment for not getting vaccinated isn’t right either, Baca said.

“That makes it even worse,” he said. “Not only are you forcing a vaccine on us, now you’re taking food out of a family’s mouth. Now you’re going to make me lose my home. Now you’re going to make me get my house foreclosed on, or you’re taking away my career.”

Like Ortiz, the registered nurse, Jennifer Atler, who works as a radiology technician at two Albuquerque hospitals, said she is also prepared to leave her two jobs rather than take the vaccine.

“I should not be forced to take a vaccine,” she said. “I feel like it’s my choice.”

Sackett noted state hospital leaders reported “a very high percentage of their providers are already vaccinated,” as well as more than 83 percent of state corrections staff.

The New Mexico Medical Society, New Mexico Nurse Practitioner Council and New Mexico Nurses Association all put out statements supporting the state’s action to require vaccinations for hospital workers, Sackett wrote, adding Presbyterian Healthcare Services, the state’s largest private employer, is requiring vaccination for its entire workforce, include those who fall outside of the state’s mandate.

Atler said she’s worked in hospitals for the last year and a half without a vaccine and very little personal protective equipment. She said she’s been trained to protect herself and doesn’t need the vaccine to be safe.

“I’ve worked so hard,” she said. “I feel like I have a high work ethic. I sacrificed for so many years. You know, I’ve worked the two jobs, and I feel like, ‘How dare them?’ ”

Atler noted more than 98 percent of known COVID-19 patients in the U.S. survive but said the longterm effects of the vaccine are unknown.

“I don’t feel like they’ve done enough testing on it,” she said.

Atler said she’s ready to walk off the job but hopes she qualifies for a religious exemption.

“I am a born-again Christian,” she said. “I feel like my body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, and I feel like Jesus died for my sins and I am protected by his blood. I don’t need to be injected with an experimental vaccine to be safe. I put my life in his hands, and I refuse to live in fear.”

Follow Daniel J. Chacón on Twitter @danieljchacon.

(98) comments

Tom Hyland

The pro-vaccine people who have posted their comments here will undoubtably cheer and encourage this woman, an American soldier, as she promises to gun down anyone who violates orders to be vaccinated. Where did America go? You people are excited to see any resemblance to what America once was be vanished and replaced by something akin to the USSR. Check your sanity. All of this perversion because you cling to a promise of safety?

Tom Hyland

This is an article from the Daily Mail announcing the death of a BBC reporter, age 44, who died of blood clots just a few weeks after receiving the AstraZenica shots. Reports of children dying from stroke and heart attacks are on the rise. I have a friend, lives locally, my age of 65, who was vaccinated and suffered a heart attack recently. A woman I know has been suffering from blood clots and is likely to have a leg amputated. Simple observation of people in public lately reveals a marked uptick in aggressive and irrational behavior.

Robert Fields

Tom, did you know you can’t even get the AstraZeneca vaccine in the US? Not approved here. That’s why your example case is in the UK.

You are arguing against something you can’t even do here exactly because of US government protections — that the other vaccines have all passed for emergency use with one already fully approved and the others soon to follow.

You are beating a dead horse that can’t even get here for you to properly beat.

Sorry about your friend but that heart attack doesn’t sound directly linked to a vaccine. You do know heart attack is a leading cause of death even outside of covid times, right?

There have been adverse reactions to the vaccines here but the net is very wide and includes events that would have happened anyway. When you make the effort to check actual numbers at the CDC or other news sites aggregating the information, the death rate right now from covid is 1.7% of cases. Certainly more have and have had it than we know, but still, that’s a lot of death. One person out of every 58 that is known to have covid.

Death rates from the vaccines are running in the one per millions.

OK, yes, you could get the shot and die. It is possible. But you are in the neighborhood of 17,000 times more likely to die from covid than from the shot. Even if the odds of death were 1000 times, or 100, or even only ten times more likely from covid than the shots, it’s still an easy decision for anyone who understands this.

As to your last point, aggressive behavior is from the anti-maskers and anti-vaxxers. They are the ones assaulting others by removing their masks, coughing or spitting on those wearing masks, and even pulling out guns and shooting people who tell them they need to wear masks to enter some establishment or venue. The violence is due to the the brainwashed far right. They are also the ones gobbling up ivermectin, drinking bleach, or any of the other crazy things they do. It’s because they, like you, are drinking the disinformation kool-aid and not making good choices.

Tom Hyland

I can't reply to your comment below... there's only a "report" button available and I abhor "reporting" or "snitching"... tattling on people, crying to mommy, whatever. I don't do that. Never will. Face it, Robert, your vaccine shots didn't work. You've been vaxxed twice now? You are anxiously awaiting booster shots? You're worried that being near unvaccinated people will cause your death? You're still wearing a mask and social distancing? The vaccines don't work. I remember receiving the polio vaccine around age 7 and never did I or anyone require a "booster" because the vaccine weakened after a couple of months. It took about 30 years to develop the polio vaccine. Work began in the 1920's and it was made available in the 50's. That's because it was TESTED... over a long period of time. These vaccines were rolled out within a couple of months. What will happen to babies whose mom's have been vaxxed? I guess we'll find out, huh? Because your "science" doesn't know.

Bill Gates declared he expected to see returns of 20-fold on his vaccine investment. Fauci is personally invested in vaccines, too. That is certainly a conflict of interest in that he's invested in vaccines and the government is skipping to his tune. I don't know where you're getting all of your misinformation... you've got to be inventing this. One out of every 58 people has covid? People are drinking bleach? What channel are you watching? When you don't like what you read you push the "report" button to make it go away. I like your ridiculous statements remaining right where they are. This is entertainment. But try to understand this... your vaccine... whatever you got injected with... isn't working.

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Jim Klukkert

Tom Hyland- telling someone that "your beliefs ... defective, useless, null and void," is insulting and in violation, again, of the SFNM comments page guidelines.

Please try to do better Tom, and when your comments are deleted as abuse, please do not decry that as Censorship.

Thanks Tom.

Jim Klukkert

Tom Hyland- please do the math!

From the 417 cases of “incredibly rare blood clot complications’ after vaccination with AstraZeneca, out of nearly 50m doses administered, the mortality is somewhere near 0.0000834%.

Compared to the probability of adverse consequences of contracting Covid-19 due to not vaccinating, I chose getting vaccinated.

Philip Taccetta


Trish Romero

How wonderful that we live in a country that is intended to be run as a republic by the people and for the people so that each one of us have a say. Each person should do their own investigated research and come to their own conclusion. Ignorance is not an option. And God willing, each one will make their own choice according to their own due diligence, because they will set their course to determine their destiny and of those of their friends and families for generations to come. Otherwise we've willfully given ourselves from Republic to authoritarianism. I do not want the shot. I believe it is not for me, which is no one's business why! However, if I have to take it for something greater than my belief, than I will take the shot. When I was a young girl, I remember hearing my Mom say to other younger women, "if you keep bundling them (babies or children) up and not give them room to grow an immunity, they'll always be sick." She was just a Mom, not a scientist or doctor, just a Mom. In conclusion, I believe the shot is worthless even more so now that it's been determined that it needs a booster and a 4th is already being talked about. However, if I have to take it for something greater than my belief, than I will take the shot. It's my choice. I'm so blessed to have been able to have been born in the USA, more so our beautiful state and just spoiled to live in Santa Fe, where immigrants are willing to risk their lives to come here. Why we ask? Freedom!

Tom Hyland

Trish, your words are inspiring and brave considering the biased one-sided position of this news article, the opinions of the majority of people who have posted here, and this newspaper itself that conducts its business with disdain for those who think as you do. However, do NOT take a single one of these several "vaccines" for some vague reason that's "greater" than your belief. You know what you know and I commend you for expressing your thoughts at this perilous time. The loud chorus chanting that your beliefs will get everyone killed is greater than you alone, but you are all you have, ultimately, and you've arrived at your understanding by research and by sifting the truth away from all the lies. Stand strong.

Robert Fields

Trish, I’m all for “muh raghts” but your rights stop when you start injuring others and that is exactly what the militantly unvaccinated are doing.

Our hospitals are filling, we’re under all sorts of restrictions, and people are dying. This is all because there is a group in this country who don’t quite understand what freedoms really are. You don’t seem to understand community, civic duty, or your responsibility to protect others.

This country isn’t just freedom. That is anarchy. It’s freedom and community. It’s a country, remember. We are all in this together and acting irresponsibly and denying health care, livelihoods, and other people’s rights to live their own lives isn’t in the playbook.

We had all this taught to us in mid high school civics classes. Is civics not taught in schools anymore? The far right seems to miss everything we were taught about being American.

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Robert Fields

Reading comprehension doesn’t seem to be your strong point, Tom. It’s Robert - not Richard. And I would guess that is why you keep making points with nonsense.

No, there isn’t any part of the Constitution that discusses the pandemic. Good observation but totally irrelevant. There’s nothing in the Constitution about school zone speed limits, driving drunk, or any of a myriad of things that there are laws on the books for. The Constitution is a framework on which everything else rests.

I did get the vaccine - both shots - and you can bet that I will be in line to get the booster just as soon as it is available to me. You see, I have this weird belief in science. I understand how to compare odds between scenarios and pick the one that is more favorable. I get that people who have spent entire distinguished careers working on something, learning all they can about it, and then making recommendations on best courses of action tend to have better insight than the college dropouts on Fox News who have agendas.

As to shot efficacy, my in-laws live in eastern New Mexico and aren’t as cautious as I would be. Since we got the vaccine, my wife and I had been making trips back and forth which included going to high-risk areas like restaurants, shops, and such. I don’t know that we were exposed but it’s a safe bet. And no symptoms of covid. I’d need an antibody test to tell you for certain if I’ve been exposed, and most show no symptoms anyway.

But the facts are that the vaccines do work. Go into any hospital and ask the ICU patients (who aren’t sedated with tubes down their throats due to covid and breathing problems) if they have had the vaccine. 90% of them have not.

So can you explain why 90% of covid patients in ICUs are those who haven’t had their shots if the vaccines don’t work? Where are all the vaccinated ICU patients? If the vaccines didn’t work, why isn’t it a 50-50 mix? Oh wait, it might be those who got the shots are more likely to wear masks and distance? You know - the things the CDC advises to help stay safe. Why isn’t it 50-50?

And about that 10% of ICU beds occupied by people who are vaccinated - those are mostly people with weakened immune systems for some reason, and don’t forget that delta isn’t quite as good a match for current vaccines and the original protection from the shots is starting to drop a little.

But you are very misinformed if you think the vaccines don’t work, Tom. The number of unvaccinated in ICU beds and dying tells that tale. Do you not understand why or how that shows the vaccines work?

You are spreading misinformation that can get people killed so I’m reporting your post.

Jim Klukkert

Heather Cox Richardson from Letters from an American, August 23, 2021

In Florida, the current death rate exceeds its highest number of deaths in any earlier wave of the pandemic. Last week the state had more than 150,000 new coronavirus infections, and this morning about 75 doctors in Palm Beach Gardens staged a symbolic walkout from their hospitals in a direct appeal to the public to get vaccinated. They warned that they are burning out from caring for the sick. "It's the worst it's ever been right now,” Dr. Robin Kass told Katherine Kokal of the Palm Beach Post. “And I just think that nobody realizes that.”


Robert Fields

It was on the news this morning that Florida had almost 1000 dead in one day this week. With hospitals at capacity and people tying up ambulances and crews while they wait hours for someone else to die, others with non-covid issues are now going without care.

In Mississippi, 2000 nurses have also walked off their jobs. And who can blame them? It’s as if millions of Americans decided to play Russian roulette all at the same time.

And thank you for posting, too. [thumbup]

Tom Hyland

I am 65 years of age and I remember with total clarity the AIDS epidemic. My older brother, who was gay, died back in 1989 about a month before his 36th birthday. He weighed about 60 lbs. when he expired. I was standing beside his hospice bed at that moment. When the AIDS tsunami hit the world it was not long before there was legislation preventing anyone, including employers, from asking who might be infected with AIDS. At that time, AIDS was a 100% death sentence and yet the privacy of everyone was lawfully protected. Now we have employers and government invading our privacy for a bad flu that infects and can kill mostly unhealthy people such as the extreme elderly, the obese, and generally, I'll say it again, unhealthy people. Children stand a 99.995% chance of recovery from covid19 if they should be infected. I am in the category, at my age, and my condition in that I happen to be quite fit, that I have a 99.5% chance of recovery. If the majority of the public posting their comments here, in total lockstep with government that every human on the planet be vaccinated or face banishment from society doesn't see the paradox, the hypocrisy, the deliberate abandonment of essential human freedom, then you folks are willingly welcoming your own imprisonment. Government never backs down when it consumes more liberty. Get a grip on reality, read world history, and consider what it is you are cheering on.

Robert Fields

Tom, more misinformation from you. Surprise, surprise. Those who get sick and die from covid are not all “unhealthy people” as you put it. Many are perfectly healthy and physically fit. Sure, many are also obese, diabetic, elderly, or have some other complicating factor, but it isn’t exclusive like you say. But why are you so ok with anyone dying from covid? Seems kind of inhuman.

Part of a person’s reaction to covid depends on level of exposure - the viral load. Those who get slight exposures do better than those who get hit with heavy exposures. This is why delta variant is so bad. People infected with delta are prolific virus factories and anyone near them gets much heavier doses than with the earlier alpha variant. This is also why mask mandates are back.

This is part of why even healthy people are dying. The rest is hidden complications or just bad luck. But let’s explore what you are advocating between the lines - not just letting those who are somehow compromised die, but you would have the rest of us behaving in ways that put more at risk and cause even more to die. Why?

But again, let’s look at the “facts” you toss about. They are wrong yet again.

The American Academy of Pediatrics just published numbers 4 days ago (Search for “Children and COVID-19: State-Level Data Report”). For the week ending August 19, children were 22.4% of reported weekly COVID-19 cases. Mortality is less well known because states with republican governments are suppressing the information but where mortality is known it’s as high as 0.22 percent, aka roughly 1 in 400. Not the 1 in 20,000 that you quote.

So please fact check your numbers. I’m getting tired of reporting your posts for all the dangerous misinformation you keep throwing at the wall to see what sticks and where you can strike some sympathetic chord.

Tom Hyland

You read your propaganda and I'll be reading the direct opposite. Most people in the hospital these days suffering from covid have been vaccinated. You keep insisting that people be vaxxed and I'll keep telling everyone the vaccines are the killer agent. The newspapers and media have been bought off by the Gates Foundation. Probably this newspaper depends on a yearly cash infusion from Gates to survive, so they've got to tow the line. Bill has an investment and he wants to see a big return. Here's a lot of "coincidence" for your perusal. Here's some dear people who didn't need to die this way.

Tom Hyland

"Cases" are determined by the highly flawed PCR, whose inventor Kari Mullis warned could be abused and the results grossly misrepresented via amplification. When the PCR is dialed up to 30, 40 or 50 times in focus one can find anything you like. Bubonic plague? Sure, why not? Though you deny you have an immune system, as so many believe these days, your natural immunity arsenal is killing enemy invaders 24/7. The amplified PCR counts the dead residue of even perhaps covid19 as something alive and thriving. Thus, the "cases"... so many "cases" ... when people feel no illness whatsoever. Robert, all you are doing is reciting misinformation. And when you toss "republicans" into your rant you lose all credibility, though you haven't been credible at all really. This is an article about how flawed the tests are and all those fictitious contrived numbers you continue to promote.

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Richard Reinders

Jim, you were gone for a while and when you returned the dialog was civil I thought you went on medication ha ha but as time went on you have crawled up a couple of notches, I will give you credit for the civil dialog and you haven't gone all the way back to the old Mother Klukkert. Just remember every one is entitled to an opinion right or wrong even you.

Tom Hyland

The news flash that hospitals are overflowing with virus patients once again, this same dilemma was reported several months back, is explained more fully by a nurse who is living this experience. Her insight of how numbers are tallied regarding availability of beds and numbers of attending staff sounds plausible.

Jim Klukkert

I just read and followed up on Tom Hyland’s latest post to these pages, which begins: “The news flash that hospitals are overflowing with virus patients … is explained more fully by a nurse who is living this experience.”

I went to the cited web posting to find that this “nurse” does not reveal “her” name, where she/he works, or any other information which might lend credit to the existence of this person.

This ‘source’ goes on to say “Hospital staff are beyond fed up. [They] worked over the last 20 months using just personal protective equipment and standard infectious disease precautions. That approach was just fine for nearly two years.”

That working without vaccinations “was just fine” is not my recollection of how front line medical professionals described their experience. Might any other readers be able to comment?

This ‘source’ continues: “Now these same health care workers must be vaxxed or they can’t work? These front line health care workers have seen with their own lying eyes [sic] the COVID vaccine injury fall out. Do you think they want to roll the dice for themselves?”

My reading of many accounts, including numerous first person narratives, is that medical professionals are relieved to have the protection that vaccines offer.

Can anyone offer more specific, authoritative and credible information?

Mr. Hyland most likely means well, but I believe Mr. Hyland’s latest post is implausible, and only more of the same misinformation that he has continued to insist is the truth. Should many in our population follow his unsubstantiated claim, we will be faced with a series of new mutations of the original virus, perhaps even more dangerous than the Delta Variant.

Tom Hyland

I answered Mr. Klukkert's question regarding the identity of the nurse who wrote the report about the hospital situation. What she wrote was credible information. You censored my reply. Why are you doing this, Henry? Or is it the guy who wrote this article? Why are you people at the New Mexican such keen advocates of censorship?

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Robert Fields

Tom, I found what you are referring to and it does concern boosters but not for what you are implying. Severe disease isn’t because of any nefarious thing. It’s like I just said - due to decreasing effectiveness of the initial shots. This is normal and expected.

The first people to get the shots months ago were the ones most at risk from covid. If you will recall, it was all people who were less able to stand even mild covid. They are likely almost all still vulnerable.

Delta is a mutated form of the virus for which the vaccines were targeted. There are differences which slightly reduce the effectiveness of the current vaccines. The combination of waning protection from the first shots, differences in the virus that reduce the effectiveness of the vaccines, and a population that still has the vulnerabilities that got them queued up first all add up to increased risk of severe illness - FROM COVID. NOT THE VACCINES.

Please stop spreading misinformation. Do you really want people to follow your advice and die? That’s what you are doing, Tom. You are doing your best to get people to not get the shots which can easily lead to death.

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Robert Fields

Citation please. I cannot find where she said anything of the sort.

It sounds like you are twisting what Ms. Walensky said about needing booster shots both because resistance to the virus fades over time and delta is slightly better at evading the immunity provided by the vaccine. Hence the need for booster shots.

It’s not bad news at all. It’s just fact and how viruses and our immune systems work. It’s not some big conspiracy to plant microchips in us, or whatever bizarre threat the anti-vaxxers are pushing now.

Turn off Fox, OAN, Newsmax, and facebook, and rejoin rational society.

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Robert Fields

And they all have very low probabilities - thousands and thousands of times lower than the risk of dying from covid. Those are all less than one in a million. The risk of dying from covid is 1 in 58.8.

Sure, there’s lots of reasons to avoid getting the vaccine. The only valid ones are for people that know they will have bad reactions due to allergies and such. For the vast majority, not getting the vaccine means tremendously increasing the odds you will suffer things like scarred lungs and death.

But congrats - now that hospitals are filling up, staff are becoming overwhelmed, and people are no longer able to get any care in some areas (amazingly this is happening in areas with low vaccination rates - who could have seen that coming?). These side effects of militant anti-vaccine rhetoric are increasing death rates for everyone. Great job.

Robert Fields

Pfizer just got full approval from the FDA.

Curious how many will now go get the vaccine.

Robert Fields

It’s not directly about covid but these comments by the anti-vaxxers and others are why I am not hopeful humans can ever solve the other life and death issues facing humanity. We can’t even agree when experts lay everything out for us on a platter. We still have people pretending they know better and peeling off support for the right courses of action and instead seed division and resistance. If half this country is dead set on remaining unvaccinated in the face of almost 1 in 50 odds of dying if you get the virus, how will we ever pull together to fight things like climate change?

It’s depressing we have so many uneducated, militantly defiant, and loud contrarians who undermine the things that need everyone to pull together for the common good.

Nancy Murata

Thank you for adding a thoughtful comment to the mostly ignorant and crazy blather here. Truly disheartening in the face of this serious epidemic.

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Robert Fields

Wow, really? 23 whole ways to die from the vaccines - all with extremely low probabilities?

Meanwhile, covid itself has multiple ways to die (not sure the exact number - republican governors like to not count them) and the odds of death or disability from covid are much much higher than the vaccine. Far more risk than getting the vaccine. Risk of death from the vaccines are way less than 1 in a million. With covid it’s 1.7 in 100. The CDC has the statistics.

Rational people look at the odds of dying from the vaccine or from covid and make the logical conclusion that the vaccine gives you the best odds of living - by far. The demographics of people in ICUs, morgues, and once again, refrigerated trailers, tell the tale. Almost all were unvaccinated. That’s the reality. The dead and dying are by far unvaccinated and only very very few have fatal reactions to the vaccine.

There’s risk to everything. The trick is choosing behaviors with the lowest risk. When the difference is factors of thousands, most don’t get stuck terrified of the vaccine and instead act to increase their odds of survival by getting the vaccine.

Angel Ortiz

Anyone hear about Phil Valentine? He opposed the vaccine and masks.

Jim Klukkert

Not until you mentioned his name, Ms. Ortiz, and thanks for that! Here is the link to what Valentines’ home network, and other prominent Conservatives had to say about their late friend, colleague and host. Conservative radio host Phil Valentine dead at 61 following month-long battle with COVID-19 at

What was not mentioned on Fox News, or in remarks from fellow notable Conservatives, was this from late Phil Valentine via his brother Mark, as reported on CNN, Saturday 21 August:

“[Valentine’s] death comes more than a month after the host first announced he had been diagnosed with Covid-19. On his program, Valentine had repeatedly downplayed the importance of getting a vaccine against the virus, saying last December that he believed his personal odds of dying from Covid-19 were ‘probably way less than one percent.’

“But his message changed in late July when his family announced that Valentine had been hospitalized in ‘very serious condition’ and was suffering from ‘Covid Pneumonia and the attendant side effects.’

“‘Phil would like for his listeners to know that while he has never been an 'anti-vaxer' he regrets not being more vehemently 'Pro-Vaccine', and looks forward to being able to more vigorously advocate that position as soon as he is back on the air, which we all hope will be soon,’ his brother Mark Valentine wrote on July 22.

“Mark Valentine told CNN's Alisyn Camerota in a July 26 interview his brother was doing better but was ‘still very deep in the woods’ and breathing with assistance.

“'He recognizes now that him not getting the vaccination has probably caused a bunch of other people not to get vaccinated,’ he said in the interview. ‘And that he regrets.’

“‘This is a real threat, it is a real public health crisis and it is something that if he had to do over again ... his cavalier attitude wouldn't have been what it was and he would have gotten vaccinated and encouraged everybody to get vaccinated,’ he added.”

Robert Fields

…Until he got covid. He changed his tune pretty quick once sick and was advocating for people to get the shots.

Valentine learned up close and personal how bad covid is but his deathbed conversion came too late for him. Once you’re that sick, the vaccine can’t help you.

All these anti-vaxxers ought to think hard about how projections are that everyone who is unvaccinated will get delta. And right now, the fraction who will die is 1.7% - almost 1 out of every 50 (1 in every 58.8).

Khal Spencer

I'll leave it to the courts to decide if the Governor or a private entity can mandate intrusive shots based on labor law, contract law, emergency power, etc. I think the main arguments are for the legal scholars and when appropriate, labor union lawyers. As far as all this other balderdash about "freedumb", spare me the hyperbole.

One thing the Feddle gummint can do to clear the air is decide if it is going to give final approval to various shots in order to put to rest the idea of whether something is "experimental".


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Jim Klukkert

A quick viewing of Tom Hyland's claims, as expressed in his link to Gateway Pundit, "We report the truth– and leave the Russian-Collusion fairy tale to the Conspiracy Media," as well as a quick read of 'Media Statement from CDC Director Rochelle P. Walensky, MD, MPH, on Signing the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices’ Recommendation for an Additional Dose of an mRNA COVID-19 Vaccine in Moderately to Severely Immunocompromised People' on the CDC reveals a stark contrast between the vaguely attributed quotes of Hyland's sources and the CDC statement.

Frankly, I am not going to be swayed by a news organization that trumpets it's bias across its banner, not by a Libertarian auto dealer, not by an angry father at a Tennessee school board meeting, not in an interview of a low level Bush administration figure by a known supporter of the January 6th insurrection, need I go on.

I have no interest in chasing anti-vaxxers in and out of their rabbit holes. Hard science as exemplified by Johns Hopkins and Mt Sinai [where close relatives have worked] along with medical professionals who I am blessed to have in my life. That's where I get my guidance, and I hope folks out there are so blessed.

I do have an interest in warning all who will listen, that the larger the population that refuses to follow covid protocols including masking, vaccinations, social distancing and the like, the greater the playground where the virus will continue to mutate. These mutations have already produced the Delta variant, and could perhaps do worse.

I am not afraid, just situationally aware and very well educated and somewhat erudite.

So folks, remain skeptical of anything Mr. Hyland puts up. So far as I can tell after spending hours reading his cited posted and watching his cited videos, Tom Hyland has only distortions and misinformation. The consequence of following that balderdash is already evident along the Gulf Coast, health systems tottering on the edge of collapse as hospitals are over-filled and exhausted medical staff are overwhelmed.

Sad days, and it is Alt-right politics that are driving this mess.

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rodney carswell

anything from Tom Hyland and his go-to source are generally disinformation, intended to mislead and confuse. Who is he working for?

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James Russell

Part of what Tom Hyland writes is true, vaccine manufacturers have been exempted since 1988 from deaths from side effects BUT, “ In other words, companies that manufacture vaccines are not liable if someone has an allergic reaction or injury after being vaccinated.

However, individuals can file a petition with the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) administered by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to receive compensation if they are found to have been injured by one of the vaccines covered by VICP. According to the Health Resources and Services Administration under HHS, "even in cases in which such a finding is not made, petitioners may receive compensation through a settlement."

VICP, also known as "vaccine court" has been accepting petitions, also known as claims, since 1988, and has paid about $4.4 billion in overall compensation, according to CNBC “


One of my friends lost her husband to COVID due to a sick caretaker; another friend lost her mother and now her husband is gravely ill because of a sick caretaker -- so I ask you -- would you like to be the caretaker who transmits COVID to a father, a sister, a wife, a child and then that person dies? Is that really how you want to be remembered? As responsible for the death of a beloved family member?

paul pacheco

Whatever happened to “it’s my body, my choice?” is what this outgoing governor should be answering! But with a dictator style of power, she answers to no one! She’s already an abortionist and believes that it’s a woman’s choice, so what kind of hypocrisy am I missing here! I applaud all those who practice their God given right [under our U.S. Constitution] to choose what they want to do with their bodies and where no one can force them to do what they don’t want to do! Answer? Vote this fascist governor out as soon as possible! P.S. I don’t support abortion as it is the killing of babies!

Angel Ortiz

Paul. Abortion compared to COVID? Really? COVID is a contagious virus. Abortion is a decision that should be left to the mother and family. Choosing not to be vaccinated and not wearing a mask is a different avenue. Hanging on to your rights and not being responsible and following the Trump bandwagon is dangerous and absolutely ridiculous. Good luck pal!

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Jim Klukkert

Emily Koyama- With snarky, sarcastic remarks comparing the unborn to "just so much ground chuck to you," it would be a wonder if you have friends.

So Emily, do you have friends?

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Jim Klukkert

Emily Koyama-

The above comment on Angel Ortiz’s post is nothing but a personal attack, quite clearly are implying that Ms. Ortiz regards the unborn as just so much “ground chuck.” Your choice of words is disgusting and offensive, and in no way advances this discussion. Your personal attack is merely disparages Ms. Ortiz’s character.

As your comment is a personal attack, specifically an insult, that falls outside the bounds of the SFNM community guidelines, it should be removed from this page as abuse.

As should my earlier response, see below, to your snarky, sarcastic comment. I am trying to turn a page, but the bitterness of your personal attacks does call to my darker angels.

Thanks, Ms. Koyama, and all the best,

Jim Klukkert

Nancy Murata

Your "God given rights" are not a one-way street - our rights are predicated on not infringing on the rights of others. Vaccine mandates are lawful in our country for many generations, (George Washington had to insist on small pox vaccinations for the revolutionary troops as so many were dying they could not fight), The Supreme Court upholds vaccination mandates, and vaccinations to attend public school has saved millions of children from suffering, death and disability. Please open your mind about your role in community for the greater good!

Lee Allen

To those who keep screaming "It's OUR RIGHT!" to avoid any common sense medical precautions, I wish to remind them that they're "right" to contaminate and potentially infect me and others with more brains than them: Your "right" to be an idiot ends where my unalienable right to "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" begins...

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Robert Fields

There are lots of ways to react to things but some are good ways and some are bad ways. With this pandemic, refusing to mask up or get vaccinated are bad ways to react.

Terri Saxon

On the same day that this article ran, there were two articles about patriotic Americans who served our country in WWII. Both spent time as prisoners of war, one in Japan and one in Germany. What incredible sacrifices they made for the greater good of our country. How ironic that these two articles ran on the same day as this article, covering anti-vaxxers and anti-maskers who rant about the impositions of a vaccine mandate for the privilege of caring for our most vulnerable. I am so grateful we had people like Capt. Martinez and Pvt. Montoya to serve and protect us, rather than these entitled, selfish protesters. Reading the three articles together, I continue to be amazed at how selfish and self-centered members of our society have become.

Richard Reinders

Terri, don't forget what these POW fought for, our freedom to have choice and your and others freedom to say and believe what you want. I am not an antivaxxer and have taken the shot that was my free choice.

Dan Frazier

And of course, the anti-vaxers are in fear of the vaccine, that it might have long-term negative side-effects, be part of a government conspiracy, etc.

Dan Frazier

The woman at the end of the article says she is a Christian who refuses to live in fear. The premise of Christianity is fear -- the fear that life is finite and meaningless, and of course the fear that you will end up in the place that is the opposite of heaven if you don't believe. (I had to write that sentence awkwardly to evade a profanity filter!!!) Likewise, Republicanism is based on fear -- the fear of taxes, the fear of regulations, the fear of immigrants, the fear that America is in decline, the fear that whites are becoming a minority, etc.

Shannon Gill

Everyone Stand Strong!! Stand up for your rights as an American.!

The truth shall prevail it always does!!

Prince Michael Jauregui

Amen, sister.

Mask-up, sanitize-out, and Love thy neighbor - six feet away.

rodney carswell


Angel Ortiz


Paul Gibson

What exactly are you asking people to stand up for? The right to refuse masks and vaccines or wha. Far too many on the right get all pumped up about their rights as Americans, but fail to recognize their shared obligations as human beings to wirk for the common good. Sad and this attitude could be the demise of the nation.

Jerry Appel

Nearly 40 years ago. St. Reagan fired the entire cohort of Air Traffic Controllers for daring to strike for better working conditions. Now that the shoe is on the other foot, just fire them all, and say to them, "I am following the example of your deity." How can they argue with that when the directive came from their god.

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Philip Taccetta

“ It’s ironic that the ones that hate Trump the most are now pushing you to take the same “vaccine” he fast tracked to the market”

Do you seriously believe that trump had anything to do with “fast tracking” the vaccine? Do you mean that after all of his denial and misinformation he spread? He said “find a cure! Here’s lots of money”! That, in addition to all of the insane “cures” he promoted is the extent of his involvement.

I can assure you that he is incapable of “bamboozling” anyone on the left.

Jeff clark

Sad that they would bring unvaccinated maskless children to this gathering

Prince Michael Jauregui


Sadder than those suddenly concerned with the well-being of children - while supporting the slaughter of nearly 70-million innocent unborn? Ah, the shameless, sickening hypocrisy.

Jim Klukkert

PMJ: [offtopic] You might wait until Pro- Life/Choice was the issue being addressed.

Prince Michael Jauregui

Kluk, I've said it before, and I'll say it again: You're a kind and considerate individual - when you're not playing Topic Cop. Dude, you went after Laurie mercilessly.

Anyway Officer, I wasn't off topic. I merely alluded to the slaughter of nearly 70-million innocent unborn while stating my point. The irony, Officer?

Now, maybe if I mentioned the DNC's U.S. Pharaoh originally putting Latino children in cages, you would've had a case, Officer Klukk.

Jim Klukkert

Hey PMJ, good to see you out here again.

My thought on your post regarding abortion, was all about trying to lower the temperature on these pages. Folks are pretty heated regarding the Covid protocols, and adding Right to Life/Right to Choose just seems like gasoline on the coals. I was not nearly as put out as that 'Off Topic' avatar seems to be...

Regards Ms. Buffer, I did actually thank her for rephrasing her comment, which in my reading transformed it from a personal attack on a "put your negative adjective here" person into a criticism of a "put your negative adjective here" comment here. I was very specific on my points, but did not see that as being nasty so much as I am rigorous in matters of communication.

[You might note her first comment was deleted by the SFNM folks, not me, I assure you.]

So again, good to hear from you, and I continue to find value in your comments, including those perspectives with which I do not agree.

Best to you, PMJ!

And extra points as your initials recall one of my favorite sandwiches, P and J!

Carmela Baca

It is my hope that when these anti-vaxers go to a facility for covid treatment, they are turned away. Hospitals are running out of beds and those who got the vaccine or have a different emergency or medical issue should be given priority over those who chose not to get the vaccine. Texas governor Abbott is now getting the best possible treatment for covid. He'll be back doing press conferences saying that it's just like the flu. How many of us are likely to get the same kind of medical treatment he's getting?

Russell Scanlon

The same goes for Trump, Hannity, Carlson, etc. etc. These people are accessories to mass murder.

Philip Taccetta


Robert Fields

Absolutely. Bob Woodward’s tapes of Trump interviews for his books prove Trump knew it was dangerous and deadly early in 2020, yet pushed the anti-mask, anti-distancing, open everything now stances and even got Herman Cain killed from his superspreading Tulsa rally. They all know what they are doing which is the most cynical part. But it unites and motivates whatever fraction of their base still believes it which is enough to whip many republican politicians into sacrificing the public good to remain in power. More and more holdouts are wising up, though, but for some it’s from their death beds.

Lynn k Allen

Thumbs 👍

Angel Ortiz

And once again our American culture is showing how weak and spoiled we have become. If you don't want the vaccine or a mask then stay home or move. You are not needed here.

Bill Dimas


Jim Klukkert

Thanks Bill Dimas for posting this. If you are posting this everyday, more thanks to you. Every day that passes with folks unvaccinated, is another day the virus has a pool in which to mutate, perhaps to an even more dangerous form. That is why we are dealing now with this new variant.

All people of intelligence are aware of this threat. Some mis-informed division sowers may think it is fear. This is not fear, it is situational awareness, the very trait that allows any species to survive.

Tom Hyland

When I click on your name a whole long list appears of comments you've contributed to this forum. This is all you ever write, in capital letters, with explanation marks, week after week. Why Bill? Why does everyone need to be vaccinated, no excuses allowed? Does "everyone" include babies? Does "everyone" include pregnant women? Bill, WHY does everyone need to get vaccinated?

Robert Fields

Pregnant women are now approved to get the vaccine. You must have missed that.

Color me not surprised.

Jim Klukkert

Bill Dimas, thanks again for posting.

I am guessing that my repeated thanks to you may bring you some negative attention by anti-vaxxing trolls. It would probably be good to ignore them. Remember Bill, best to never punch the Tar Baby for fear of getting stuck in a situation with no positive payback possible.

Dan Lewis

Jennifer Atler, don't let the door hit you in the backside on your way out.

Robert Fields

Yep. She (and the rest of them) can “feel” like not taking the vaccine all they want but proper hygiene in hospitals requires that the staff not pose a greater risk to patients and their families than not seeking care. Kind of pulls the veil back, doesn’t it?

Philip Taccetta

She obviously doesn’t know the difference between “feeling” and “thinking”.

Robert Fields

Yep. The “my feels are valid” crowd is still kicking.

Stefanie Beninato

No one is forcing anyone to take the vaccine. You have the choice not to take it and to find another job. As for the vaccine being experimental--not any more--look at all the people that have been tested. I did not realize we had so many people in our state in professional fields who are incapable of constructive analysis and thought and we are so sucked into alt right wing conspiracy theories.

rodney carswell

In addition, life is "experimental"; when you walk out the door in the morning, it is an experiment in living.

Dan Lewis

No Vax No Job. They can forage for a living. Their idiocy is no excuse to infect others. If they have kids, maybe those kids should be removed for child neglect and abuse.

Richard Reinders

No job no service good luck on getting your next online purchase this century. Remember thats a double edge sword.

Russell Scanlon

This has zero to do with science and health and 100% to do with bad faith politics by a rapidly disintegrating Republican party.

Robert Fields

Apparently poison control hotlines are now getting calls from people unbelievably eating a horse dewormer called ivermectin thanks to Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity promoting it on Fox as a covid cure. It’s become a thing in Mississippi. They eat horse dewormer and get sick in a state already slammed by delta on the advice of two college dropouts with zero medical qualifications but refuse to get a proven vaccine that many people with expertise, experience, and knowledge have not only advised but that they themselves have taken. I think I’d be safe betting Hannity and Carlson themselves never fired up their caulking guns with cartridges of ivermectin and took their own big gulps. (I shouldn’t have to say this but based on evidence I do - nobody should go buy ivermectin at a feed store and eat it. It is not for humans.)

Meanwhile, so many anti-vaxxers and anti-maskers are dead. Just try a search for notable anti-vax covid dead. Some see the light before they die and try to tell others to get the vaccine and mask, but others go to their graves still defiant and refusing to understand they did it to themselves.

The amazing thing is the hospitalizations and deaths are mostly republican and white as those are the ones so adamantly anti-vax and anti-mask. Republicans are largely killing their own.

Sabine Strohem

I hope those aren't medical professionals with a Hoax sign. SMDH.

Robert Fields

The Atlantic posted a sad but interesting article on where some of this misinformation and fear is coming from. There is a guy who had some of the original ideas in using RNA vaccines. He ended up dropping out of his degree program and got hired by a pharmaceutical company, missed his big paycheck, and now is a darling of the anti+vaxxers as he tells anyone who will listen how bad the vaccines are: “The Vaccine Scientist Spreading Vaccine Misinformation”, posted August 12.

It’s tragic that this kind of thing is happening because people are making life and death decisions for themselves, their families, and others they come in contact with based on this guy’s sour grapes or whyever he has decided to attack the vaccines. Unfortunately, he has some credibility because of his early research and his own discoveries. As another researcher puts it, “He’s ‘effing’ up his chances for a Nobel prize”.

Anyone who is refusing to get vaccinated because they are afraid of the vaccine ought to read the article. It’s at least part of the information they are using to make bad decisions that could get them killed. It’s covid coverage so is free to read.

The facts are that the vaccines are all much, much safer than risking covid. With a 1.7% death rate being reported now, covid is a far greater risk by hundreds of thousands of times. It’s more dangerous to drive New Mexico roads than to get a vaccine.

Michael Marvier

I always thought nurses to be fairly intelligent people but I guess there are exceptions.

Kim Griego-Kiel

Michael, I was of the same mind. What I don’t understand is when so many of them have watched people die so horribly yet refuse. And I’d think those Christians would believe that God sent them the vaccine to protect them. Just like any other medical procedures.


yes, quit asap, go out and mingle, maskless & unvaccinated, and find out fast

how many job openings are available to quitters in a pandemic who devalue their children, coworkers and patients. none that are legal.

Nancy Murata

When grandpa has a heart attack or your child gets appendicitis they can be treated at the hospital by unvaccinated virus-spreaders and then get covid and die!

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