Senator Michael Testa, Assemblyman Erik Simonsen, and Assemblyman Antwan McClellan slammed Governor Phil Murphy for excluding public health experts who work within his administration and for the State from discussions and decisions regarding New Jersey’s reopening procedures.
“It’s shocking that Gov. Murphy has left his administration’s public health experts – who should be advising him – in the dark, only for them to discover new policy actions when they tune into the governor’s press conferences,” said Testa (R-1). “Murphy’s unilateral reign, which is tanking New Jersey businesses and livelihoods, is not grounded in science or data. His decisions are solely dependent on which way certain political winds are blowing, or whatever Governor Cuomo opts to do first. For the health and well-being of New Jersey families, I urge the governor to consult with his own advisors prior to making major policy decisions.”
According to recent reports, Governor Murphy failed to communicate with three of his top public health experts prior to formulating key policy-making decisions. This includes the abrupt reversal of his decision to reopen indoor dining, the outdoor mask mandate, and school reopening plans.
“Our families and businesses are left to scratch their heads in frustration, as the Governor preaches science and practices politics,” Assemblyman Antwan McClellan said. “The disturbing reports of the Governor making arbitrary and capricious decisions based on political whims (and then demanding scientific back up from his Health Department) shakes the confidence of our constituents at a time when trust and clear direction are so important. This a clear failure of leadership at a crucial time.”
“Each day, our small business owners hang on the words of Governor Murphy, as he decides who will get a change at financial survival, in his personal COVID reopening sweepstakes,” Assemblyman Erik Simonsen said. “The turmoil reported within the State Health Department is further proof that the Governor’s Executive authority, now in its fifth month, is driven by politics and power. How will make the ‘science’ fit his leftist narrative, as more and more small businesses are forced to close their doors forever.”
Testa said these arbitrary and capricious decisions have caused unnecessary additional harm to businesses that are already suffering, including to restaurants that spent money after Murphy said they could resume indoor dining on July 2nd, only to have the governor reverse his decision inexplicably at the last minute.
To help account for those losses, Testa is the co-sponsor of legislation (S-2704) which would dedicate $30 million of federal funds to reimburse restaurants, bars, and caterers that wasted money on supplies in preparation for the return of indoor dining on July 2nd, which the governor blocked.
“The broad restrictions that Gov. Murphy has placed on indoor dining makes little sense when hospitalization for COVID cases have dropped 90% since April,” added Testa. ”His ill-conceived reversal may lead some mom-and-pop restaurants on Main Streets across New Jersey to close their doors forever. Gov. Murphy must start working with members of his team, as well as members of the New Jersey Legislature, to help get our State safely back on track.”