Gov. Murphy blasts Rep. Matt Gaetz after Young Republican Club hosts maskless party in NJ

Coronavirus
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Gov. Phil Murphy called out the New York Young Republican Club, singling out a Florida congressman, following a maskless party held in Jersey City.

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JERSEY CITY, N.J.— Gov. Phil Murphy called out organizers and attendees at, following a maskless party held in Jersey City amid surging COVID-19 cases in the state, singling out a Florida congressman.

The New York Young Republican Club “allegedly snuck into Jersey city to hold a gala fundraiser after they couldn’t find a venue in their own city due to the pandemic,” the governor said during his Friday press conference.

“There is no obvious intent to enforce social distancing or face masks even though wearing masks indoors in NJ is mandatory in organized gatherings” when people are not eating or drinking, the governor added.

Murphy singled out Florida Rep. Matt for his participation in the event, “It is also beyond the pale that Rep Matt Putz — I mean Rep. Matt Gaetz — would participate in this. What a fool.”

“He and they should be ashamed of themselves.”

“You are not welcome in New Jersey, and frankly I don’t ever want you back in this state,” Gov. Murphy said.

Rep. Gaetz responded to Murphy on Twitter, thanking the governor for calling him handsome and added, “You’re gonna regret this tweet when you move to Florida like the rest of New Jersey.”

President of the NYYRC said the event “was held in full compliance with all applicable laws and regulations. Any suggestion to the contrary and any legal threats are made in bad faith and politically motivated.”

Jersey City law enforcement is investigating and the state is assisting.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo was asked about the incident during a conference call Friday.

“I don’t blame Gov. Murphy for being upset and I think Gov. Murphy is right to speak the truth, even when it is politically inconvenient,” Cuomo said. “This is a time for a leader to say what needs to be said and do what needs to be done, even if not politically appreciated by all. This is about saving life. If the young republicans broke the law, the law should be enforced.”

Cuomo also called out Gaetz for his behavior.

“[It’s] reckless and irresponsible to pander to the crowd that says ‘We want to violate the law,'” Cuomo said of Gaetz. “Then don’t be a government official and don’t pass laws.”

He reiterated that the common goal is stopping the spread of this virus to save lives.

“I want to see young Republicans grow into old Republicans,” Cuomo said. “This is about preventing deaths.”

New Jersey has seen a spike in daily positive coronavirus cases in recent weeks. On Friday, the state reported 5,673 new positive cases, reaching a record-high for new cases in a single day.

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