TRENTON, NJ – If you ever saw the Adam Sandler video of how baseball was invented, you’ll see man similarities to that video and Governor Phil Murphy’s handling of the reopening of New Jersey. If you haven’t seen it, here it is.
In that video, Sandler pretty much invents the game of baseball, changing the rules to suit his own misgivings on a pitch by pitch basis. It’s exactly how Governor Murphy is running New Jersey.
Phil Murphy has been unilaterally been picking winners and losers since the COVID-19 crisis begins and even after announcing the lifting of his stay-at-home order, picking winners and losers is the message of the day.
The winners are the protesters statewide which he supported and turned a blind eye to. The losers are anyone who is not a protester who will still be confined to magic gathering numbers and social distancing rules or face criminal charges.
Yesterday, Phil Murphy today signed two executive orders 1) raising limits on outdoor and indoor gatherings and 2) opening pools effective June 22 and additional outdoor recreational businesses effective immediately. We can say with certainty that on Friday night, Murphy did not go to bed with the science in his hand, knowing he was going to lift some sanctions on Tuesday. It only happened because he was called out for his own double standards. Most likely one of his lawyers advised him of his grave error and reminded the Governor, that New Jersey is still part of the United States.
“With more of our businesses reopening, we are no longer requiring New Jerseyans to stay at home, but we are asking you to continue to be responsible and safe,” said Governor Murphy.“These actions will put us even more firmly on our Road Back and complement the steps we’ve already taken to begin our restart and recovery.”
Twenty-four hours later, Murphy announced that for every one person who contracts COVID-19, they are infecting .64 other people, meaning the rate of transmission has severely diminished to the point of being one of the least communicable diseases.
Under Executive Order No. 152, effective immediately, indoor gatherings are limited to 25 percent of the capacity of the room, but regardless of the room’s capacity, such limit shall never be less than 10 or more than 50 people. All attendees at the gathering must wear face coverings, unless for a medical reason or if the individual is under 2 years old, individuals must remain six feet apart at all times, and physical items may not be shared by multiple attendees of the same gathering unless sanitized before and after uses. Yet, at his rallies this past weekend, nobody was six feet apart.
Outdoor gatherings are limited to 100 people, and attendees are required to be six feet apart. Individuals should wear face coverings at all times where social distancing measures are difficult to maintain, and individuals who are in vehicles shall not count towards the gathering limit. Yet the rallies he attended had thousands of people this past weekend.
Nothing in the Order shall prevent a person at a gathering from momentarily removing their mask to place or receive an item in their mouth, if done for religious purposes, or for health and safety. Yet, his rallies had thousands without face coverings.
Now back to picking winners and losers.
Under Executive Order No. 153, outdoor swimming pools can open effective at 6:00 a.m. on Monday, June 22, provided that it complies with standards and policies that will be issued by the Department of Health. Pool facilities may open for the purpose of lifeguard training and lifeguard swimming lessons prior to June 22. Waterparks and other forms of outdoor water entertainment are not allowed to reopen.
Additionally, outdoor recreational and entertainment businesses are permitted to reopen immediately, with the exception of amusement parks, water parks, and arcades. These recreational and entertainment businesses are required to abide by a number of social distancing protocols that are specified in the Order. Any type of event at an outdoor recreational or entertainment business that involves individuals there at a specific time for a common reason, such as a movie or concert, are subject to the restrictions on outdoor gatherings.
With the exception of amusement parks, Murphy has just crippled the economy of the Jersey Shore, but that part of New Jersey doesn’t vote for him, so who cares, right?
Public and private social clubs are permitted to reopen their outdoor spaces, provided they comply with all applicable terms of the Order.
And nothing in the Order prevents a business from operating an amusement game outdoors, such as a game on a boardwalk, so long as the game does not take place in an amusement park and an employee is present and adheres to all of the requirements in Paragraph 1 of this Order, including sanitizing all equipment before and after each use.
So a game of chance on a boardwalk is more dangerous than a game of chance in one of New Jersey’s many amusement parks? Again, we’re picking winners and losers arbitrarily.
Paragraph 2 of Executive Order No. 107, which requires New Jersey residents to remain home with limited exceptions, is formally rescinded. The other provisions of that Order, including the requirement that businesses or non-profits accommodate their workforce for telework or work-from-home arrangements, wherever practicable, are still in effect.