New Jersey Gov Murphy goes off after 74 percent of constituents tell ‘contact tracers’ to get lost

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New Jersey residents are apparently fed up with government coronavirus restrictions and a majority of them are reportedly not cooperating.

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy vented about those who have refused to comply with COVID-19 contact tracers, complaining at a Monday press conference that the “noncooperation” of nearly three quarters of individuals with positive test results is simply “unacceptable.”

As in many other cities across the nation, New Jersey residents who have tested positive for COVD-19 are contacted by officials trying to determine who they have been in contact with in recent days, in an effort to trace those individuals as well.

But pandemic-weary residents have apparently been turning the government contact tracers away and Murphy was frustrated about it during the press conference.


(Source: CBSN Philly)

“The rate of noncooperation with our contact tracers is now up to a whopping 74 percent of cases. Quite frankly, this is unacceptable and we need folks to turn that around,” the Democrat said.

“It is extremely critical for contact tracers to get in touch with the close contacts of those who test positive to help us stop the spread of this virus,” Murphy urged.

He took to Twitter to reiterate his frustration, insisting that the government isn’t engaged in a “witch hunt.”

The governor seemed to think the increase in positive coronavirus cases was in part due to people gathering over the Thanksgiving holiday. The state saw more than 3,500 new COVID-19 cases on Monday as new limits were placed on outdoor gatherings, dropping from 150 people to only 25 people.

After months of dealing with the pandemic, and just as much time filled with conflicting and ever changing reports on how to handle the virus, the added demands that a citizen’s data and personal information be handed over to government officials in the name of safety certainly did not seem to be going over so well.

A majority of New Jersey residents now appear to be balking at the idea, according to the governor who recently slammed Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz for attending a party in the Garden State by the New York City Young Republicans.

Murphy, who personally took part in a packed Black Lives Matter protest back in June, called the GOP lawmaker “Representative Matt Putz” and a “knucklehead ” last week and declared the Republican was never welcome back in his state, prompting a scorching response from Gaetz.

The hypocritical governor was confronted by angry citizens last month when he was caught while eating outside with his family.

But the restrictions, lockdowns and questions from state officials are apparently not enough for Murphy who told MSNBC’s Stephanie Ruhle that the honor system just didn’t seem to be enough.

“We’ve got enforcement up and down the state. I worry, frankly, more because most operators are doing the right thing, and most people are doing the right thing,” Murphy said on MSNBC Monday.

(Relevant portion of MSNBC video at 2:35 mark):

“I worry right now about somebody’s living room, a private setting where no amount of enforcement can get into every living room or private setting in our state,” he said.

“That, to me, is where our biggest challenge is, that’s where the pandemic fatigue is at its height. That’s where people are letting their guard down,” he added. “And I would just plead with people, not just do the right thing when you’re in a restaurant or a gym, but do the right thing when you’re in your own home.”

Frieda Powers

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