TRENTON, NJ – For two years, Governor Phil Murphy has held regularly scheduled COVID-19 press briefings to defend his actions during the pandemic. Those actions included prolonged business lockdowns, school closures, mandatory masking, vaccine mandates, and a Department of Health order in March of 2020 that forced nursing homes to accept COVID-19 positive patients.

Today, the governor will speak for the last time about the COVID-19 pandemic in the formal setting of a COVID-19 briefing and he hopes you forget what happened over the past two years during those meetings.

Those meetings, Murphy claims were based on science. Now, each day it turns out that he was making decisions based on political science and not necessarily medical science.

During the height of the pandemic, Governor Murphy called New Jersey residents and business owners knuckleheads and would read off a shame list daily of businesses that violated his 2020 forced closure orders. Those orders turned New Jerseyans trying to put food on their table into criminals.

Each day, the Governor would read off daily death notices, claiming them as new, spreading them out over the course of the pandemic for impact. That is until Shore News Network called him out on it and he started adding a disclaimer that those names were not recent deaths before reading them.

Then there’s the fuzzy COVID-19 pandemic math that saw deaths added, subtracted, moved, and categorized. Murphy never told New Jerseyans the full story…the real story. Numbers announced each day always had caveats, probable, underlying circumstances, and confirmed. That is until Shore News Network and others called him out and he and his team finally admitted that 40% of the numbers he read daily were from perfectly healthy people who contracted COVID-19 while at the hospital for other ailments and procedures.

Murphy has never been a straight shooter with the public during these hearings, instead, he used them to fearmonger, panic pedal, and intimidate residents into following science that we now know was unproven and at times, wrong.

After forcing children to wear masks in school, claiming unmasked children are three times more likely to catch the virus than unmasked. It turned out, that was not true when you considered most of the state’s schoolchildren wore improperly fitted surgical masks, cloth masks, and gaiters that did virtually nothing to stop the spread of the virus.

Who can forget the Department of Labor crisis? The Motor Vehicle Commission crisis? Those two agencies still remain closed by the Governor’s orders. Murphy’s failed contact tracer army still employs 1,960 soldiers that only 20% of New Jersey’s population trusts or are willing to talk to.

Then there are the moving goalposts. Phil Murphy was a master at making a first and goal play at the goalline into a fourth and ten from your own twenty-five play. Throughout the pandemic, he made promises that he never kept and never intended to keep, yet was caught several times breaking his own rules while out partying in restaurants while the rest of New Jersey stayed home in fear of the virus that was waiting outside their door.

New Jersey’s COVID-19 numbers, through all of Murphy’s prophylactic solutions, were about the same as those of unmasked states such as Florida and Texas, except New Jersey suffered more of an economic, social, and emotional impact.

During the Murphy emergency order, tens of thousands of New Jersey businesses shut down. The use of opioids, drugs, and overdoses increased. People have lot their jobs, they’ve gone bankrupt and now as the foreclosure moratorium ends, they are now losing their homes.

While the COVID-19 emergency might be over, the damages caused by Governor Phil Murphy are just beginning as next week the utility shutoff moratorium comes to an end and many struggling New Jerseyans will find themselves without electricity and gas as spring comes.

Murphy cannot continue to hide from the damages he caused during the pandemic and today is his chance to deliver a plan that will help New Jersey move forward without his draconian orders that have crippled our state.

In the end, despite all the mitigation measures and mandates, New Jersey ranked third in the nation in COVID-19 deaths per capita by state with 3,693. In comparison mandate free Texas had 2,868 and Florida had 3,200.

Phil Murphy will get up today and boast about how he saved lives by locking New Jerseyans in their homes and forcing them to wear masks, but the data…you know, the science doesn’t back up his claims. In fact, the data shows Murphy’s measures cost more lives and did more damage than states that were more relaxed with their rules during the pandemic.

Shore News Network has been one of the biggest critics in the state when it comes to the theatrics pulled each press conference by the governor. There was a time when we were calling out the governor and elected officials were busy on Twitter and Facebook baking bread and sharing their favorite lockdown recipes with constituents. Now, as the air clears, the New Jersey GOP is finally starting to ask the questions we have been asking since Day 1…was it all really worth it?