New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) finally broke down and announced that he has officially ended stay-at-home orders and reduced restrictions on religious gatherings on Tuesday.
Murphy was caught openly violating his own stay-at-home order on Monday while attending protests against police brutality. He said the same day that he “couldn’t imagine” enforcing social distancing rules on more than 130 protests organized in his state.
“I can’t imagine what it would look like if we said to people, ‘Actually, you have to stay in. You have to ignore systemic racism — I’m sorry, just ignore it. Stay in,’” he said. “I can’t imagine what that looks like as it relates to public safety.”
He didn’t seem to have any problem with telling thousands of churchgoers across the nation to “stay in” indefinitely, even going so far as to sanction the arrest of a New Jersey pastor for “unlawfully gathering” in March.
The Democrat governor quickly covered his tracks though, stating in his announcement on Tuesday that “given the growing body of evidence showing the reduced risk of transmission of coronavirus outdoors, we believe the appropriate rule prioritizes individuals‘ right to speak and worship freely.”
New Jersey was slammed with coronavirus cases early on, but the state’s coronavirus case count has steadily trended downwards for several weeks. According to Fox News, “Murphy reported 375 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday and 91 new deaths, bringing the statewide total to 164,796 cases and 12,214 deaths.”
As of Tuesday, indoor gatherings of up to 50 and outdoor gatherings of up to 100 will now be permissible in the state.