New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) announced via Twitter Tuesday that he was signing an executive order lifting the state's "stay at home" order. The move surprised many, considering that Murphy announced late Thursday night that he was extending the state's public health emergency for another 30 days.
BREAKING: Today I’m signing an Executive Order LIFTING OUR STAY-AT-HOME ORDER. Please continue to be responsible a… https://t.co/aD5W5TRhFL— Governor Phil Murphy (@Governor Phil Murphy) 1591722302.0
In the tweet, Murphy stated that he would sign the order "today" and said, "Please continue to be responsible and safe. Wear face coverings and keep a social distance from others when out in public." In a series of subsequent tweets, Murphy offered a sort of explanation for his abrupt about-face on the necessity of a stay-at-home order.
We can take these steps today because of the data and the prevailing science. The data tells us that the time can… https://t.co/bRkgE0vJIl— Governor Phil Murphy (@Governor Phil Murphy) 1591722589.0
NEW: We’ve received 375 new positive #COVID19 test results, bringing our statewide total to 164,796. The rate of s… https://t.co/6iU5RTX4m8— Governor Phil Murphy (@Governor Phil Murphy) 1591722788.0
LOOK: Our hospitals currently have 1,736 patients being treated for #COVID19 – our sixth-straight day of being belo… https://t.co/1Qdy0DPXLo— Governor Phil Murphy (@Governor Phil Murphy) 1591722869.0
LOOK: ☑️510 patients reported in either critical or intensive care ☑️373 ventilators in use ☑️84 new #COVID19 hospi… https://t.co/95DEz44mXU— Governor Phil Murphy (@Governor Phil Murphy) 1591722890.0
It was not clear from Gov. Murphy's thread of tweets whether businesses and churches would be affected by his executive order or not. According to the latest guidance issued by the state, restaurants will be able to accept customers for outdoor dining on July 15 and businesses like hair and nail salons can reopen with restrictions on June 22.
Murphy also made news last week when he admitted that a double standard was being applied to the protests about George Floyd's death as compared to church services and other gatherings protected by the First Amendment.
According to reports, Murphy said, "It's one thing to protest what day nail salons are opening and it's another to come out and peaceful protest about somebody who was murdered right before our eyes."
Of course, for the purposes of an infectious disease, they are exactly the same, since diseases are not known for their social conscience.
Murphy's announcement comes as Attorney General William Barr is being asked to investigate whether some states are impermissibly favoring the George Floyd protests over other protected activities with respect to their coronavirus guidelines.