Republican candidate for Governor Jack Ciattarelli today said he feared Governor Phil Murphy’s sudden reversal on the New Jersey student face mask mandate is the first step toward a second complete lockdown of New Jersey residents.
On Friday, Governor Phil Murphy caved into political pressures from the New Jersey Education Association and announced that all students, staff, and faculty in K-12 schools in the state will be required to wear face masks in school September.
It doesn’t matter if the student has been fully vaccinated or not. This is a reversal of the Governor’s previous policy that local school boards will have the final say in their face mask and COVID-19 health safety protocols when school returns in September.
Many now feel Murphy’s mandate will stop parents from vaccinating their children as many were complying simply for the chance to allow their kids to return to school safely in September. Murphy’s dire warnings about vaccinated children being carriers of COVID-19 and his reports of children, even vaccinated ones being infected with COVID-19 is creating unnecessary vaccine hesitancy among parents, a group that was hesitant prior to his announcement.
Murphy said his decision was based on science and not politics and criticized those who are trying to make his decision a political one ahead of his bid for re-election in November.
His decision has bolstered his Republican opponent Jack Ciattarelli, giving the struggling candidate a much-needed platform boost that could tighten the 26 point poll gap between himself and Murphy.
“His decision to require masks for K-12 students in a bewildering reversal of his position just a few weeks ago,” Ciattarelli said. “I oppose Murphy’s mask mandates for students.”
Ciattarelli said wearing a mask should not be forced on children.
Worse, Ciattarelli fears Murphy’s decision is only the first step toward a looming second statewide lockdown.
“Our children, business, and taxpayers cannot afford it and they’re not willing to accept it,” Ciattarelli said.
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