New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy is levying new threats against citizens who dare to defy his “orders” after a video of a gym re-opening went viral yesterday.
For background, here’s the video, which includes clapping and cheering after police decided not to enforce the order with arrests.
Here it is! pic.twitter.com/qUwC9n28TA
— Jojo (@jojofinger) May 18, 2020
From my view, far more people were caused to gather closely together by the Governor’s order than if he’d simply allowed the gym to open at 20% capacity with precautions, which is what they ended up doing anyway. Even if you accept the idea that everyone here is in imminent danger for not socially distancing, wouldn’t they be much “safer” getting temperature checks, sanitation towels, and staying spaced out in the gym? But logic plays little role in many of these most stringent orders in blue states.
For his part, Gov. Murphy is now playing the part of petty dictator, saying that if the gym attempts to open again, there will be arrests.
Gov. Murphy addressed the gym opening, warning more enforcement would be brought if the gym owners dare to open their business back up on Tuesday.
“I’m not concerned it will spiral out of control, and we will take action,” the Democrat said. “If you show up at that gym again tomorrow, there’s going to be a different reality than showing up today. These aren’t just words. We’ve got to enforce this, but I also don’t want to start World War III.”
He also put this tweet out.
#COVID19 has changed everything.
After 9/11, new security measures were put into place that we were not accustomed to. Those practices are now part of our routines.
The aftermath of #COVID19 will be similar. Social distancing will still be the rule of the days ahead.
— Governor Phil Murphy (@GovMurphy) May 18, 2020
But the gym isn’t buckling. They responded by basically telling Murphy to come and do it.
“I expected this. I actually expected more than this,” said gym co-owner Frank Trumbetti, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer. “We firmly believe that everything we are doing is constitutional. It’s our right, and we have not broken any laws.”
“I didn’t open up today to close tomorrow,” he added.
People are obviously done with these lockdowns. The only path forward is mitigation. Encourage people to wear masks when appropriate (and no, outdoors on a beach is not appropriate), encourage social distancing, and ask people to do things like wash their hands and avoid direct contact. But very few people, no matter what the polls say, are going to accept being locked in their houses any longer, much less will business owners tolerate the obliteration of everything they’ve worked for.
The truth is, this was always going to happen. Some of us said it months ago. With no vaccine looking possible until the fall and no highly effective treatment, people realize that they simply have to weigh risks and make decisions for themselves. We could never have stayed locked down until there was a “cure,” and Democrats suggesting that are being incredibly intellectually dishonest.
Murphy’s threat is silly, and if he chooses to follow through, he’s only going to invite more backlash, more protests, and more ignoring of his orders. The ball is in his court. We’ll see what shot he takes.