Gov. Phil Murphy will depart for a family vacation in Italy on Tuesday evening, his first since the initial reported case of COVID-19 in March 2020 and since undergoing surgery to remove a cancerous tumor on his kidney early last year.
He will return on August 19.
Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver will serve as acting governor.
“Listen, I’m like I’m no different than any other family after this past 17 months,” Murphy said. “Just having a few days together is something that I think all of us want to do with their family and I’m looking forward to that.”
Murphy, who said his family began their vacation on Friday, made it clear that he’s prepared to return “sooner, if need be.”
“I will never be more than a call or a text away,” he said.
The Republican candidate for Governor, Jack Ciattarelli, is in Israel this week.
A Star-Ledger tally of Murphy’s schedule reported that he’s spent all or part of twelve days outside New Jersey since March 2020, but none of them for pleasure or politics. Included in the NJ.com calculation were the days he spent in the hospital recovering from his cancer surgery and in Washington for meetings at the White House on the pandemic and infrastructure issues with Presidents Donald Trump and Joe Biden.
Prior to his departure, Murphy will be in Middlesex County tomorrow for a ceremony renaming the Dismal Swamp after Peter J. Barnes, a former state senator and judge who died in February.
POLITICO first reported Murphy’s trip on Friday.