It was a year ago at this time as there was a push to increase capacity limits in restaurants and bars to help these establishments survive and with Covid numbers going in a positive direction at this time -the.
New Jersey was behind other states in getting there.
As capacity limits were eventually reinstated, an oft-debated topic has run the course of the pandemic in New Jersey: the Murphy administration’s transparency about the science used to determine the dates.
In February 2021, Monmouth County State Senator Declan O’Scanlon told Townsquare Media News: “Unlike other states, which have made their metrics much more public, which have put on paper what needs to happen to move through phases of reopening, with projections of when they hope it would happen – New Jersey It’s been a mess, and it’s been a problem and a constant complaint that I’ve had and others have had,” O’Scanlon said. “This ‘damn, gee-willikers, we hope we’re not there yet, but maybe one day’, it’s just not, it’s not much help at all.”
The trend continued on Monday when Gov. Phil Murphy announced that the school mask mandate would be lifted in New Jersey on Monday, March 7, giving school districts the choice of whether to lift it and when.
Murphy said the reasons why Monday, March 7 was chosen as the date for lifting masks in schools are to give people more time to get vaccinated and other scientific data indicating that health parameters would be in somewhere safe enough to lift the warrant. .
“It’s a combination of cases, hospitalizations, positivity rates, transmission rates that are all moving considerably in the right direction, he’s trying to project what those streams of data will look like weeks in advance,” murphy said.
There were many on Monday and many more this week, especially on the Republican side of the New Jersey Senate and Assembly who question the science behind the measures leading to a selection on Monday March 7.
“Why is it taking so long? I don’t know why March 7 is the magic date flagged there. I don’t know what the date has to be. I think like everything else, Murphy was quick to impose restrictions on the people of that state but slow to relax those restrictions,” Monmouth County MP Vicky Flynn (R-13) told Townsquare Media News on Monday. “I would like him to consider, maybe, making the mask optional immediately.”
Next, Ocean County 10th District State Senator Jim Holzapfel (R) and Assemblymen Greg McGuckin (R-10) and John Catalano (R-10), also question the timing , the date and wonder why the warrant can not just be lifted now .
“This is just one more delay from the administration. It is impossible to understand the governor’s reluctance to immediately release school children from masks,” Sen. Holzapfel said in a statement. another month? Stop playing. It’s been a year and a half, and residents don’t want to wait until March 7 to get their parental rights back. give it back now!”
Assemblyman McGuckin, Assemblyman Catalano, along with State Senator Anthony Bucco (R-25), would like to see the school mask mandate lifted sooner rather than later, but were also surprised through Governor Murphy extends the public health emergency for another 30 days before its scheduled expiration this weekas the number of positive Covid cases has declined over the past two weeks.
“There is no reason to prolong the emergency. The COVID numbers have improved dramatically every day,” MP McGuckin said in a statement. “New Jersey has been suffocated by Murphy’s emergency powers for too long. Let it expire and the mask mandate would also end. The power grab should end. give it back!”
“It’s been going on for too long,” MP Catalano said in a statement. “We have reached the point of diminishing returns, and the governor should understand that his reign as health care dictator has run its course. He’s taken too much from the people of New Jersey and it’s time to give it back.”
Holzapfel, McGuckin and Catalano have also already introduced legislation (S-126/A-1632) that would ban requiring students to wear face masks in schools and on school buses, but before that last summer they introduced an early version of the bills, (S-3879/A-5830), to make wearing a mask optional, at the discretion of the student’s parent.
Senator Bucco echoed similar sentiments in a statement this week, also calling for an end to the emergency and the return of those emergency powers and parental rights to New Jerseyans as well.
“By every metric, New Jersey’s COVID numbers have plummeted to the point that authoritarian mandates and executive orders are completely unnecessary,” Bucco said in a statement. “Governor Murphy should let the public health emergency expire this week and return the emergency powers and parental rights he took from the people of New Jersey. There is no justification for dragging this out for another month while the children continue to suffer both educationally and emotionally. Governor Murphy has exercised emergency powers for too long, and he has taken away the rights of parents over any objections they may have. He should give it all back now.
State Senator Michael Testa (R-1), who recently spoke to Townsquare Media News about how the Covid-19 pandemic has been handled in New Jersey and what needs to happen nextalso calls for an end to emergency powers and questions measurement science.
This week, Senator Testa points out a story published by the New York Times breaking mask policies in New York, New Jersey and elsewhere.
“Governor Murphy insisted that his decision to lift school mask mandates was influenced only by public health data,” Testa said in a statement. “In truth, his announcement was prompted by concerns over polling data and growing public outrage over his tenures as he prepares to run for president. Anyone who continues to think Governor Murphy isn’t playing politics with the pandemic is delusional. »
Senator Testa also thinks there could be more political games going on than just in New Jersey from Governor Murphy. with whispers and rumors of a potential presidential election.
It points to a story from NJ.com this week, senior executive Daniel Bryan, who will leave the administration and lead a new political advocacy group with First Lady Tammy Murphy, reported.
“Republicans in New Jersey have spent the past two years speaking with people affected by Governor Murphy’s pandemic policies and holding public hearings where his mandates and the damage they cause have been told to us again and again,” Testa said in a statement. “The governor, meanwhile, was completely disconnected and stuck in a liberal echo chamber where no amount of mandates, restrictions and signals of virtue were too many. It’s only now that he’s considering a presidential race that Governor Murphy really cares what people think.
Previous reports by David Matthau have been used in this article.