Maybe they weren’t knuckleheads after all, new John Hopkins report suggests how wrong Phil Murphy has been since day one of pandemic

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From the Desk of Senator Joe Pennachio

A recent Johns Hopkins University analysis found that COVID lockdowns have been virtually useless, and State Senator Joe Pennacchio said the new revelations are further proof Governor Phil Murphy’s refusal to include the Legislature in pandemic decision-making was a mistake.

“This is all the more reason to end the Governor’s unilateral ‘rule by executive order’ approach,” said Pennacchio (R-24). “From Day 1, more people should have been involved in the decision-making. Murphy should have been sharing information with elected representatives in the Senate and Assembly to demonstrate why any mandates were necessary and to consider the consequences.”

Johns Hopkins researchers studying the effectiveness of lockdowns in the United States and Europe found the strategy reduced virus mortality by a mere .2 percent.

“It is clear lockdowns should be rejected out of hand. Residents were forced to endure a lot of pain for virtually no benefit,” Pennacchio said. “The Governor’s policies that bankrupted one of every three businesses in the state turned out to be worthless.

“The New Jerseyans the Governor referred to as ‘knuckleheads’ because they had the audacity to gather together or visit parks and beaches turned out not to be knuckleheads after all,” said the Senator.

In the report, the scientists said they found no evidence lockdowns, school closings and limits on group gatherings made much of a difference in preventing COVID deaths, but they did have “‘devastating effects’ on the economy and contributed to social ills.”

“As the Johns Hopkins study proves, decisions that forced mom-and-pop businesses to shut down while big box stores remained open made no sense and created job losses and financial problems that were unnecessary,” Pennacchio said.

In addition to “reducing economic activity and raising unemployment,” the researchers blamed the mandates for “reducing schooling, causing political unrest, contributing to domestic violence, and undermining liberal democracy.”

“The lost year of learning was devastating to children across the state. Students who continued with in-person classes in private schools are well ahead of most children, and it could take years for them to catch up. That should never have happened,” said Pennacchio.

“This Legislature should have held hearings to force the Governor to defend his policies. Time will soon prove him wrong on mandates and natural immunity.”