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Saily Avelenda
Democratic State Committee Executive Director Saily Avelenda.

State parties fight proxy war over Murphy’s COVID response

By Nikita Biryukov, July 13 2020 2:16 pm

New Jersey’s state committees are waging a proxy war over Gov. Phil Murphy’s coronavirus response.

On Monday, The Democratic State Committee launched a defense of an order Murphy issued last week that required residents to wear masks outdoors.

“Governor Murphy’s mask order isn’t just backed up by science and data, it’s also supported by the vast majority of New Jerseyans who understand the seriousness of this situation,” NJDSC Spokesman Philip Swibinski said. “Trenton Republicans need to stop playing games with peoples’ lives and understand that they are doing real harm with their baseless conspiracy theories and partisan attacks.

After Murphy issued the order last week, some Republican lawmakers claimed he was attempting to exploit the pandemic and pressed him to restart the state’s reopening, which was paused after an uptick in virus transmission rates.

“Trenton Republicans and other like-minded politicians have revealed themselves during this crisis to be fundamentally out of touch with the vast majority of residents,” NJDSC Executive Director Saily Avelenda said. “They’re playing the same kind of political games that led to the massive spikes in new COVID-19 cases we are seeing throughout much of the country by following President Trump’s lead and ignoring the pandemic.”

Meanwhile, Republican State Chairman Doug Steinhardt attacked Murphy over the state’s backlog of unemployment claims.

“Whether it’s fulfilling obligations to the 1.3 million unemployed residents or keeping our veteran and senior populations safe, Governor Murphy is failing at fulfilling the basic obligations of state government,” Steinhardt said. “If he can’t execute on the X’s and O’s of basic governing, we will never be able to count on him to solve our big picture problems. Phil Murphy continues to exemplify executive incompetence. He must go.”

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