Republican gubernatorial candidate Jack Ciattarelli called on Gov. Phil Murphy to erode all restrictions on gatherings in place to blunt the spread of COVID-19 by May 15 Wednesday.
“In March 2020, Governor Murphy declared a State of Emergency and invoked his executive powers. Fourteen months later, he is still ruling by executive order and our school children, small businesses, and state economy are still suffering,” Ciattarelli said. “It is past time for a new approach and bold leadership.”
The former assemblyman’s call comes as new cases in the Garden state begin a decline for the third time.
He called for all indoor and outdoor gathering capacity limits to be removed by May 15 and also asked the governor end suspend an outdoor mask mandate by the same date. Indoor masking, Ciattarelli said, should persist for a short while then be eliminated as the number of fully vaccinated New Jerseyans increases.
“Governor Murphy once claimed ‘data would determine dates.’ More than a year into this pandemic, however, he refuses to provide any clear reasoning behind his executive orders,” Ciattarelli said. “He also fails to provide firm dates for the reopening of our economy and our lives.”
Ciattarelli also asked that school districts be given authority on holding proms and graduation ceremonies and that the state pay for summer enrichment and tutoring programs.
The Republican called for Murphy to require the 2021-2022 school year be conducted fully in person. That’s already the plan.
“He has opened the doors to nursing homes, where our most vulnerable live and over 8,000 have died due to his negligence,” Ciattarelli said. “At the same time, he has closed the doors to schools, where our least vulnerable learn and need to be full-time. The result has been a lost year for so many of our students, with gaps in education and mental health issues skyrocketing.”