SEASIDE HEIGHTS, NJ – Governor Phil Murphy today said from the state owner “Governor’s Mansion” at Island Beach State Park that he has nothing but sympathy for the thousands of restaurant owners who made huge financial investments preparing for Fourth of July weekend indoor-dining services. Those services, of course, were cancelled by the governor early last week, after restaurants ordered extra food and bars restocked for the impending influx of new business after being shut down since mid-March.
Murphy made the statements on NBC’s “Meet the Press”.
On those losses, Murphy said it was the Trump administration’s responsibility to take care of New Jersey restaurants that remain shut down.
“Listen, we have nothing but sympathy for them,” Murphy said. “It’s why we need direct federal cash assistance to states so that we can help those restaurants and small businesses out.”
Murphy said the sedentary and indoor nature of indoor dining is a deadly risk for all involved.
“The choice is we reopen inside or based on the data we saw and the lethality of this virus inside, or we lose people. We literally lose lives,” Murphy said. “By definition when you eat, you have to take your mask off to eat, those are bad facts, those are just bad facts, we’re just not there yet, we’ll get there I hope, but we’re not ready for it.”
Murphy said the recent uptick in COVID-19 is partially based on the reopening, but stressed those coming back from out-of-state hotspots. He said he does not expect numbers to increase much from outdoor activities like going to the beach, protesting and watching fireworks displays…unless it’s a conservative anti-Phil Murphy protest of course.
“We’re not out of the woods yet,” Murphy said.