TRENTON, N.J. – North Jersey lawmakers are questioning Gov. Phil Murphy’s hesitation to follow recommendations by federal health officials to lift mask requirements in most instances.
“For a guy who claimed early on that he’d be guided at every step by science, Governor Murphy seems more driven by politics,” said Sen. Kristin Corrado (R-Bergen). “He is quick to crack down, but when the science tells us otherwise he wants time to think about it.”
On Thursday, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced people fully vaccinated against the disease caused by the coronavirus did not need to wear masks in most indoor or outdoor facilities.
The CDC considers someone to be fully vaccinated two weeks after that person receives either one dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine or the second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines.
“It is blatant hypocrisy,” said Assemblyman Kevin Rooney (R-Bergen). “Murphy claims to be relying on the science, yet in the same breath, he ignores the science from the CDC, an actual scientific authority, to make his own decisions.”
New coronavirus infections are decreasing in New Jersey, as are the number of people filling hospital beds. However, the Murphy administration said late Thursday it needs more time to review the updated federal guidance.
“We’ve known for months that being vaccinated drastically diminishes the spread of the disease,” said Assemblyman Chris DePhillips (R-Bergen). “It’s time for him to follow the lead of his Democratic colleagues across the nation who have already announced they will follow the science and advice of the CDC.”
At least seven states led by Democrats began to lift mask mandates after the CDC announced the new guidance. Connecticut, Illinois, Kentucky, Minnesota, Nevada, Oregon, and Pennsylvania began to adjust their policies.
Gov. Andy Beshear of Kentucky called the C.D.C.’s announcement the “news that we have all been waiting for.”