Testa/Simonsen/McClellan Demand Prompt Reopening of Schools, Businesses; Cite Failure of Lockdowns to Tame Virus
New Jersey continues to rank among the states reporting the most new COVID cases, and the LD1 lawmakers say the statistics prove that economy-killing lockdowns and quarantines are not the answer.
“Enough businesses have been destroyed, enough jobs have been lost by the Governor’s defenseless edicts, and continuing on that same path only ensures more economic and emotional pain,” said Senator Michael Testa. “We must end the failed policies that have suppressed life in the state. It’s about time to learn from the Administration’s mistakes and open up the economy.
“Murphy has constantly insisted he is following the science, but the data is conclusive: Lockdowns and closing the economy does not work,” added Testa. We cannot overcome the virus by hiding under a rock or isolating in our homes. A return to normalcy, including the safe and sensible, full reopening of schools and lifting prohibitions on enterprise, will better position New Jersey to sustain COVID’s impact.”
An Associated Press report on Wednesday cited data compiled by Johns Hopkins University that found almost half of the new COVID-19 cases in the U.S. came from only five states – including New Jersey. Neighboring states New York and Pennsylvania were also on the list; both have also relied on overly restrictive lockdowns in a failed attempt to curb the spread of the virus.
“Sadly, we once again see New Jersey at the top of a list no state wants to be on,” Assemblyman Antwan McClellan said. “Not only does New Jersey have the highest COVID-19 death rate in the country, we now have one of the highest current infection rates. Despite a year of draconian lockdowns, never-ending dictatorial edicts and the destruction of so many of our small businesses and jobs, Governor Murphy and his Department of Health are failing to protect our well-being.”
In response to the pandemic, Murphy announced what was essentially a shutdown of the state on March 21, 2020, ordering residents to stay home and forcing the closure of “non-essential” retail businesses.
In the year since, business organizations say as many as 40 percent of the businesses in the state have closed their doors, and the reliance on virtual learning has derailed New Jersey’s education system.
“So many states have outperformed New Jersey in controlling the spread of COVID, protecting the most vulnerable among us and minimizing the devastating collateral damage caused by over a year of soul-crushing lockdowns,” said Assembly Erik Simonsen. “These latest stats on spiking COVID cases in our state are further proof that rule by Executive Fiat and unaccountable bureaucrats can no longer be tolerated.”