Testa: NY Times Confirms Murphy’s Pandemic Decisions Guided by Polling, Not Science

February 9, 2022  Contact: Brad Schnure / (609) 847-3600

Senator Michael Testa said a new story by the New York Times confirmed that Governor Murphy’s decision to lift mask mandates was guided by political science, not medical science.

Governor Murphy insisted his decision to lift school mask mandates was influenced by nothing but public health data,” said Testa (R-1). “In truth, his announcement was driven by concerns over polling data and growing public outrage over his mandates as he prepares to run for president. Anyone who continues to think Governor Murphy isn’t playing politics with the pandemic is delusional.”

Following the governor’s announcement on Monday, Testa said the decision to end the school mask mandate was based on politics, not any change in public health data, which supported unmasking kids long ago.

Reporting by the New York Times supports Testa’s assertion. According to the Times, Governor Murphy was shocked by Republican gains in November and sought to learn what went wrong:

“Arranging a series of focus groups across the state to see what they had missed, Mr. Murphy’s advisers were struck by the findings: Across the board, voters shared frustrations over public health measures, a sense of pessimism about the future and a deep desire to return to some sense of normalcy,” the Times reported.

The Times story followed reporting yesterday by NJ.com that Daniel Bryan, one of the Murphy’s chief advisers, is leaving the Murphy administration to join First Lady Tammy Murphy in running a new political advocacy group and an associated political action committee to boost the governor’s national profile.

“Republicans in New Jersey have spent the past two years talking with people impacted by Governor Murphy’s pandemic policies and holding public hearings where his mandates and harm they cause was repeated to us over and over again,” said Testa. “The governor, meanwhile, has been completely out of touch and stuck in a liberal echo chamber where no amount of mandates, restrictions, and virtue signaling was too much. It’s only now that he’s considering a presidential run that Governor Murphy actually cares what people think.”

Testa urged New Jerseyans to seize the opportunity by keeping the pressure on Governor Murphy to lift more mandates and restrictions.

“Governor Murphy has finally started to pay attention to New Jerseyans’ outrage, and he’s worried,” added Testa. “He’s taken power, he’s taken parental rights, he’s taken vaccine choice, and much more from us over the past two years. Now that he’s listening, we need to keep the pressure on and keep telling him to ‘Give It Back.’”

Senate Republicans launched the “Give It Back” initiative last week to give New Jerseyans an opportunity to tell Governor Phil Murphy in a unified voice to give back everything he has taken from them over the past two years, including emergency powers and parental rights to make mask decisions for their children.

More than 4,000 New Jerseyans have already told Governor Murphy to “Give It Back” at www.GiveItBack.us.