The New Mexico Legislature closed its 2022 session with the Senate lauding the contributions of Los Alamos National Laboratory researchers in the fight against COVID-19 with a memorial decree. The decree recognizes that, since the outbreak of the pandemic in 2019, the Lab’s COVID-19 researchers have:
- Modeled COVID-19 infection data using bio surveillance
- Analyzed cell phone data and the population’s mobility forecast COVID-19 transmission rates
- Analyzed COVID-19 mutations
- Used computing to forecast emerging COVID-19 variants
- Modeled expected hospital usage
- Evaluated the effectiveness of COVID-19 mitigation efforts
- Provided web-based, publicly available data about COVID-19; and
- Assessed hundreds of potential COVID-19 scenarios for national and regional decision makers
“I thank the Legislature for recognizing the COVID-19 researchers of Los Alamos National Laboratory,” said Director Thom Mason. “These employees shifted into overdrive when the coronavirus was detected in 2019 and never stopped. Their efforts are a perfect example of what the Laboratory does so well today: using our expertise in national security to protect New Mexicans and Americans from any threats that could befall them, including infectious disease, climate change, food scarcity, energy shortage and the weaponization of information.”
At the beginning of the pandemic in 2019, the Laboratory responded by establishing a special office for COVID-19. In addition, the Laboratory invested $24.2 million in combatting the pandemic in FY 2020 and FY2021. These dollars were targeted to research and development, disease testing and technology evaluation.
“The researchers at Los Alamos National Laboratory have been invaluable allies in caring for our communities,” said Senator Leo Jaramillo, who proposed the decree. “What all elected officials want most is to make intelligent, informed decisions in the best interests of the people they represent, and the Lab has helped us do that time and time again over the past two years. On the Senate floor, I also had the honor of recognizing the Occupational Medicine Team and the work they have done to keep the Los Alamos workforce safe.”
Learn more about the Laboratory’s contribution to fighting the pandemic here.