MSNBC anchor Stephanie Ruhle pressed New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy about punishments she wants put in place for COVID rulebreakers.
MSNBC’S STEPHANIE RUHLE: “Another state being hit hard, my home state of New Jersey. It recorded more than 6,000 cases for the first time yesterday. The governor of New Jersey, Democrat Phil Murphy, joins us now. Governor, thank you for joining me. You know, I have to ask you about this party. The New York young Republicans couldn’t hold an event in New York, because the rules wouldn’t permit it, but they held a gala here in our state. You called out Congressman Matt Gaetz who — you know he attended this party. But here’s the thing. Matt Gaetz doesn’t care. He doesn’t care that you called him a Putz, he doesn’t care that you don’t want him in New Jersey. He loves this national news. But now those people who broke the rules could be spreading this virus and killing people across our state. You are the one who makes the rules. Do you need to put more restrictions in place and actually punish these people?”
MURPHY: “First of all, Stephanie, God bless you and your family. And we wish you a speedy recovery in your personal testament to the toll that this virus can take. It’s extremely compelling and God-willing, will save others from the path you’ve been down. Secondly, we’ve got the same darn rules that New York has. These jerks came in. It’s under investigation, including the venue, and it’s unfathomable. The pictures, nobody is wearing a mask. They are inside. They’re on top of each other. It’s ridiculous. And this guy, all he craves is national attention as you rightfully point out. He doesn’t care about people getting infected or people getting hospitalized or, God forbid, people dying from this. It’s the height of irresponsibility. But the answer is, yes, as I said we’ve got the same restrictions, plus or minus New York has. These — these folks violated it. It’s under investigation and I’m not happy. I don’t know how you could be happy after something like that.”
RUHLE: “But maybe people would care more and listen more if there were more punitive consequences, right? In your rules you’re urging people who come into New Jersey from out of town to quarantine. But all it is is an honor system. Matt Gaetz didn’t follow it. Do you need to do something more than an honor system? Lives are at risk.”
MURPHY: “Listen, Steph, there’s just — it’s impossible to — to — to — to enforce somebody taking the Lincoln Tunnel from New York City into Hudson county. But we enforce them all the time. There’s a restaurant in Bergen County about 10 days ago, that’s — it’s paying a huge price for gatherings right around Thanksgiving. 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. 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. 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 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 are in your own home.”