Ciattarelli calls out Murphy over attendance at maskless event in Asbury Park, Murphy reacts

3 mins read

Last week, Governor Phil Murphy attended an event that included members of the Essex County Educators Association at the Asbury Lanes that included a packed room and no face masks.

The event was first reported by Shore News Network this weekend and today was featured in the New York Post.

“I heard the governor talk about mask mandates but as the news was reported today, he participated in a very large indoor conference over the last three to four days in which nobody was wearing masks,” Ciattarelli said of Shore News Network’s report. “I think our leadership needs to be consistent in times such as these.”

ECEA photo posted to Twitter. The photo has since been removed from social media.

The comment seemed to infuriate Murphy.

“Are you wearing a mask right now?” he asked his challenger. “We’re on stage. I’ve done 227 COVID updates. I wear the mask on stage, take it off and put it on when I leave. It’s quite clear what the playbook is. Vaccinations and masking are the playbook. Ignoring that right now is putting people’s lives at risk and we’re not going to do that.”


Murphy ignored the point that the entire room was maskless, sitting closely together at tables while he spoke. Pictures also circulated on social media of Murphy with guests before and after his speech, maskless.

Murphy’s Law in the state of New Jersey declares that all faculty, students, and staff must wear face masks while in school. It requires them to adhere to COVID-19 social distancing guidelines set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and the New Jersey Department of Health. Murphy’s Law also declares that those same teachers can party the night away indoors, maskless and without social distancing if the event includes Governor Phil Murphy and is without children. Murphy recommends that if you are unsure of the vaccination status of those around you, facemasks should be worn.

Murphy and the NJEA leadership of the Essex County Educators Association attended the Garden State Equality Ball at the Asbury Lanes, a popular music venue in Asbury Park.

In photos shared on various social media platforms, few, if any of the attendees at the indoor portion of the event were photographed wearing face masks.

“Our 2nd VP Chris Cannella along with our LGBTQ+ Committee Chair Micah Gary-Fryer enjoyed the Garden State Equality Ball last night along with NJEA leadership and staff,” the ECEA tweeted about their leadership’s attendance at the event.

We reached out to Governor Phil Murphy’s office and Garden State Equality and did not receive an immediate response.

Those photos have since been removed.