Roles national labs in New Mexico have to help combat coronavirus

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham is grabbing national attention for New Mexico’s coronavirus response. She also mentioned getting help from the state’s two national labs. So what exactly is their role?

On MSNBC’s ‘The 11th Hour Show’ Monday night, Governor Lujan Grisham told a national audience that part of New Mexico’s success in processing hundreds of COVID-19 tests quickly is because of the equipment at the state lab and Tricore. She also gave credit to something New Mexico has that other states don’t.

“The position that New Mexico is in is a bit different,” said Gov. Lujan Grisham on MSNBC. “Is that we are a state that has two of the five national laboratories.”

She’s referring to Sandia National Laboratories and Los Alamos National Laboratory, which are under the U.S. Department of Energy. KRQE News 13 asked the governor to clarify how the labs help in test processing but she declined an interview.

So we looked into what role the labs have in the fight against the coronavirus.

For Sandia, their supercomputers will help the government figure out how and where the government should put their resources.

“Where one should put test sites, where are we going to run out of medical supplies, doing those kind of predictions to help decision-makers how to best understand how to adapt and anticipate to mitigate the disease,” said Sandia National Labs Director of Computing Research, Scott Collis.

President Trump said they’ll also turn to LANL’s supercomputers to help make a vaccine.

“They’re going to be contributing a lot of different things but primarily computing resources to help researchers discover new treatments along with vaccines,” said President Trump.

That’s not all.

“Are looking at things like advanced manufacturing, how we could help make, rapidly make more masks for our medical professionals and other personal protective equipment,” said Collis.

There is still no explanation from the state for why New Mexico has the ability to process so many more tests than other states.

News Reporter