TRENTON, N.J. – Memorial Day Weekend is now looking like a wash.
“I personally think in the warmer weather, we could begin to find our footing, assuming again that we’ve got the health care infrastructure, especially broad-scale testing, that we’re going to need to give us that confidence,” Murphy opined during a Tuesday evening MSNBC interview, offering his latest subjection assessment of when he might begin to relax his ‘stay at home’ order. “I think this is a June or July much better reality if we keep doing our part, especially stay at home right now.”
Murphy said stopping community spread is a prerequisite for having the ‘confidence’ to reopen.
The Democrat Governor had indicated openness to a Memorial Day Weekend relaxation just one week ago, but New Jersey also saw its single highest 24-hour death total Monday into Tuesday (365). Assuming he isn’t simply attempting to lower expectations, this latest read of the COVID-19 pandemic timeline would mean New Jersey’s boardwalks and beaches are likely to remain empty for Memorial Day Weekend, the symbolic start of the summer season.
His original May 21st ‘stay at home’ executive order shuttered New Jersey’s “non-essential” businesses and set in motion nearly 600k unemployment claims over a three week period. Murphy has since expanded on E.O. 108 with additional edicts mandating face masks and closing parks among other measures.
Unlike Pennslyvania where the legislature is pushing that state’s governor to open some businesses with social-distancing restricitons, the New Jersey legislature has thus far refused to check Murphy’s self-appointed powers. On Monday, Assembly Democrats killed an effort by Republicans to push Murphy to reopen county and state parks.
No Memorial Day at the Jersey Shore would prove particularly devastating for the regional economy. In 2018 alone, the Garden State’s tourism industry was worth $44.7 billion and added $5 billion in state and local tax revenue. One survey of Northern Bergen County/Passaic County businesses discovered almost 50% reporting they couldn’t survive long enough to make it to May.