At his twice-a-week Covid briefing today, Gov. Phil Murphy said that it’s “out of bounds” for the state to regulate the gatherings New Jerseyans might hold for Thanksgiving this year, provided such gatherings are relatively small and contained.
Murphy was responding in part to new guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which advise celebrating upcoming holidays either virtually or outdoors. Anthony Fauci, President Joe Biden’s chief medical advisor and likely the most prominent health official in the nation, similarly said yesterday that it’s “just too soon to tell” if the holidays can be celebrated with some amount of normalcy.
“I’m a little bit mystified by that,” Murphy said when asked about the CDC’s advice. “I don’t see why, if you know everyone’s status, you can’t sit down and enjoy dinner together. So that [directive]’s not coming from me, at least.”
Murphy added that, more broadly, it is the state’s mission to create regulations and mandates where necessary, but to leave as many decisions as possible to New Jerseyans themselves.
“We’re going to be draconian if we think we have to be draconian, not because it’s a close call,” Murphy said. “We lose credibility if we’re being seen to be draconian when it completely defies common sense. I hope we never cross that line.”
“If it’s your family, and you know your vaccination status, and you’re getting around a table for Thanksgiving dinner, I think it’s out of bounds for us to say you’ve got to wear a mask, don’t have the dinner, whatever,” he continued. “That’s out of bounds.”