TRENTON, NJ – Governor Murphy on Monday moved the goalpost once again for three struggling industries in New Jersey which are not allowed to reopen due to his COVID-19 restrictions and executive orders. Initially, Murphy attributed his closure to a 15 day “flattening the curve” message. He claims he’s not moving the goalpost, but in mentioning the possibility of no further reopenings until there’s a vaccine, he essentially moved the goal post again.
Murphy said he’s not completely on board with the probability that he will not reopen indoor dining at restaurants, gyms and health centers and the hospitality industry fully until there is a vaccine for the COVID-19 virus.
“I have enormous sympathy for the industries both restaurant and hospitality as well as the gyms. We had a conversation this morning, literally today, about trying to piece together what indoor dining could look like, what gyms could look like,” Murphy said. “I don’t accept that we’re not able to get there in the absence of the end of the – in the absence of a vaccine or the end of the pandemic. I don’t accept the fact that – and I know this is not how you’ve put it, but this notion of moving the goalpost I don’t accept. We’ve just been up at – on rate of transmission and Judy will remind me, rate of transmission, we hang our hat on a lot, but it’s a suite of numbers. It’s new hospitalizations, it’s rate of transmission, it’s spot positivity. We were up literally five, six days ago at 141, which means it was going in the wrong direction meaningfully. Due to policy shifts, I think in particular pulling the indoor dining, the indoor gathering capacity down to 25, more aggressive enforcement, people doing the right thing, that combination has allowed us – also, by the way, I think having some success, particularly via the bully pulpit and through Judy’s technology weapon on folks who’ve been traveling out of state, which was a little bit of the Wild West, no pun intended, has now become a crisper reality.”
Many in New Jersey are skeptical of Murphy’s benchmarks since he and his administration alone controls the data and have not allowed any outside entities, the media, or any oversight agencies access to the outside media. Testing center errors have also skewed those numbers in recent weeks, which means the man who controls the data, also controls the direction of the reopening of New Jersey with an authoritarian level of control and access.