Dear Commons Community,
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) shredded Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) for being the featured speaker at an indoor event that could become a COVID-19 superspreader in Jersey City — and warned the health regulation-busting Republican to stay out of his state (see video above).
“Matt — You are not welcome in New Jersey, and frankly I don’t ever want you back in this state,” Murphy said in a tweet Friday.
Gaetz was the featured speaker at a secret “gala fundraiser” Thursday for the New York Young Republican Club which jumped the river to bring their superspreading behavior to another state. Gaetz filled in for Tea Party supporting former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, who bailed on the event because of her fears about the pandemic, The New York Times reported.
The event, with dozens of participants packed together in photos, clearly ignored New Jersey’s social distancing and mask regulations designed to help stem the spread of deadly COVID-19 amid a record surge of cases in the nation.
Gaetz was also subject to state quarantine rules since he likely flew in from Washington, D.C., or his home state of Florida, the Times noted.
New Jersey law enforcement officials are investigating.
“It is beyond the pale that anyone would willingly endanger people in another state,” Murphy complained on Twitter Friday.
Murphy added that it is “also beyond the pale that ‘Matt Putz’ — I mean Rep. Matt Gaetz — would participate in this. What a fool.”
The governor posted a photo of Gaetz in a gas mask on the floor of the House earlier this year. Gaetz wore the mask to mock restrictions to protect people from COVID-19.
The COVID-19 death toll has reached 281,000 Americans and counting.
The New York Young Republican Club initially posted on Facebook that the event was supposed to be held in Manhattan until New York City officials challenged those plans.