NJ Gov. Murphy on Keeping Mask Mandate: We’re Not ‘Necessarily Against’ CDC Rules, ‘We’re Just Not Ready’

On Monday’s broadcast of CNN’s “The Lead,” New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) defended keeping the state’s indoor mask mandate in place for fully vaccinated people by stating that he’s not “necessarily” going against CDC guidance, rather “We’re just not ready yet.”

Host Jake Tapper asked, “[W]hy did you decide to go against the CDC guidance and keep the indoor mask mandates in place for fully vaccinated people?”

Murphy responded, “I wouldn’t say necessarily against it. We’re just not ready yet. We’ve been clobbered not once, but twice. We’ve lost over 26,000 people. We know the virus is more lethal indoors, and you’re asking somebody who’s at the hardware store working there or in a retail or a grocery store to make the judgment on who’s vaccinated and who’s not. We’re not there yet. We’re close. I think we’re — you know, within a matter of weeks of getting to a better place. Our density usually helps us, not in a pandemic. We want to make sure we get this right.”

Murphy added that he would “feel better about” businesses saying that people who show proof of vaccination can go in without masks and that the mask mandate is “not remotely forever and always. This is a matter of a couple of more weeks on the clock.”

Murphy further stated that he will look at various pieces of health data in order to decide when the mask mandate is lifted.

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett


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