March 30, 2020

NM Delegation Seeks Deployment of Combat Support Hospital to New Mexico

Delegation writes to DOD & FEMA to support Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham’s request for the deployment to increase state’s hospital bed capacity in response to COVID-19 pandemic

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich and U.S. Representatives Ben Ray LujánDeb Haaland, and Xochitl Torres Small wrote to the U.S. Secretary of Defense and the Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to support New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham’s request for the deployment of a fully equipped Combat Support Hospital (CSH) to Albuquerque, New Mexico and to support the mobilization of any needed Basic Expeditionary Airfield Resources (BEAR) units to New Mexico communities under strain to meet the demands of a surge in new COVID-19 patients.

“Despite proactive measures by state and local public health authorities to reduce community spread of COVID-19, this pandemic threatens to overwhelm the State’s existing medical treatment facilities and resources by early April,” the delegation wrote. “As we have seen in other states, once the community spread of COVID-19 takes place, the infection rate increases exponentially. Public health experts in New Mexico predict that resources will soon be exhausted and it is imperative that the State acquire additional beds and resources before it reaches a critical mass of infections.”

“Although many hospital systems across the United States are feeling the strain of this public health emergency, New Mexico’s limited existing capacity, particularly in the rural regions of our state, make our health care system especially vulnerable to being overwhelmed by this pandemic,” the lawmakers continued. “A CSH or medical tent facility would provide much-needed resources to bolster the State of New Mexico’s ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The full text of the letter is available HERE.