Gov. Phil Murphy quickly got to the point. Those who opposed his mask mandate for schools are “willing to accept children landing in the ICU or dying from COVID.”
It would be hard to be more precise than that.
Murphy, becoming increasingly emboldened against those who reject his COVID-19, spoke in measured tones during his COVID-19 briefing. There was no yelling – as he did last week in a now viral video where he called out anti-vax protestors.
This time, he just laid out what he feels are the facts – after stating that there are 12 New Jersey kids in the hospital with COVID-19, including two who are in intensive care. Seven New Jersey children have died from COVID.
“There are those on one side in this who will preface these numbers with the word “only,” he said. “They are, essentially, perfectly accepting of these numbers.
“This is what ‘only’ means to them. They are saying that they are fine with kids, many still too young to be vaccinated, contracting COVID.
“They are saying they will just accept an untold number of asymptomatic children spreading the Delta variant among their educators and friends in their schools or taking COVID home to spread among their families and communities.
“They are saying they will accept outbreaks that shut down schools, just like what’s happened in other states without masking requirements, where entire districts are shut down with hundreds of kids and educators exposed.
“When they say ‘only,’ they are saying that they are perfectly willing to accept children landing in the ICU or dying from COVID.”
Murphy indicated he needed to call them out.
“They won’t say it out loud, but it’s exactly what they are saying,” he said. “I cannot be kind about that.”
Murphy said he “wholeheartedly” rejects those notions. He said he feels a majority of residents do as well.
“We are not going to sacrifice the health of any child, any educator, any family, or any community. We’re not going to just let COVID shut down our schools,” he said. “And, lest I need to remind anyone, having our schools open for full-time, in-person instruction is critical for our recovery, especially for working families.
“We’re not willing to surrender our kids to this virus, unlike those opposed to this commonsense plan.
“That is exactly what this is about. On one side, those willing to sacrifice our kids for politics. On the other, those of us committed to doing everything we can to protect them. As I said, I cannot be kind about this. This is exactly how this breaks.”