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Gov. Phil Murphy. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for New Jersey Globe)

Murphy smacks school closing rumor started by Star-Ledger reporter

Governor: ‘We are not closing our schools’

By David Wildstein, November 12 2020 1:40 pm

Gov. Phil Murphy again criticized Star-Ledger sportswriter Adam Zagoria for falsely tweeting that he will close schools for two months to curb the spread of COVID-19.

“I must again dispel, forcefully, the irresponsible rumor that was spread on Twitter yesterday,” said Murphy, who did not specifically call out Zagoria by name.  “We are not closing our schools.”

Zagoria’s tweet set of an Internet firestorm.

Zagoria said he had a source that Murphy “will announce in the coming days that all schools will close from Nov. 23-Jan. 23.”

“I’m told this applies to high schools not colleges,” Zagoria added in a tweet three minutes later.

Zagoria’s reporting was quickly refuted by Murphy aides.

Hours later, Zagoria backed off his reporting.

“I deleted my earlier Tweets regarding NJ Gov Murphy and school closings after further reporting showed they were premature,” he wrote.

The Star-Ledger has not acknowledged or reported the rumor started by their college basketball reporter, even their own report that directly addresses possible school closings.

Kevin Whitmer, the senior vice president for Content, Expansion and Development at NJ Advance Media, did not immediately respond to a 12:16 PM Wednesday message seeking comment.

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