Gov. Phil Murphy was caught on camera yesterday attending an event in Monmouth County without wearing a mask – the second time this week the governor has been seen seemingly breaking his own administration’s guidance on masking.
Last Friday, photos from Garden State Equality’s Equality Ball showed Murphy and several other Democrats speaking from the stage and taking photos maskless. Republican gubernatorial nominee Jack Ciattarelli took the opportunity to slam Murphy for the photos at Tuesday night’s gubernatorial debate.
“As the news reported today, he participated in a very large indoor conference … in which nobody was wearing masks,” Ciattarelli said. “I do think our leadership needs to be consistent in times such as these.”
Murphy had a sensible rejoinder to Ciattarelli’s criticism: that at most events, including the debate itself, speakers take off their masks to speak and put them back on to rejoin the crowd.
“This stuff about masking is ridiculous,” he said at yesterday’s twice-a-week Covid briefing. “I was onstage speaking, not really near anybody, and I took a picture with one of my closest friends, David Mixner, who’s as vaccinated as any American, and so am I. C’mon, man.”
But just hours after the virtual press briefing yesterday, Murphy went to the Monmouth County Chairman’s Ball apparently without a mask, both when speaking and when part of the larger crowd in attendance.
When contacted by NJ 101.5, which first broke the story, Murphy’s office did not respond to a request for comment.
“It’s clear that arrogant Phil Murphy has no problem mandating masks for kids as young as 2 years old while selectively following his own rules and allowing his friends to do the same,” said Republican State Committee communications director Alex Wilkes in a statement. “He is a hypocrite and a disgrace.”