BY THE NUMBERS: East Coast neighbors (with fewer restrictions) are outperforming N.J.

TRENTON, N.J. – Evidence continues to build that Governor Phil Murphy’s lockdown measure remain, at the very least, overly-broad – particularly in light of the economic consequences.

On Monday, state Senator Declan O’Scanlon (R-13) shared a comparative look (click here) at New Jersey and five other Northeast/Mid-Atlantic states. What it shows: states with less-restrictive regulations in place than the Garden State continue to outperform New Jersey on the economic front AND combating the spread of COVID-19, too.

Here’s O’Scanlon’s chart:

“That the Governor, with a straight face, can cite a debunked study of an incident that happened over 8,000 miles away involving a restaurant in China with a wheezy, inadequate ventilation system that doesn’t conform to standards used in this country…to justify continuing to kill businesses here in New Jersey is outrageous and demoralizing for anyone trying to hold out hope that there’s any real, scientific focus on our safety and the health of our economy,” said O’Scanlon. “That the Governor, in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary, continues to suggest that we have to continue to destroy thousands of businesses and jobs and livelihoods is simply unconscionable. What we can see across the board – with the undeniable metrics and results from surrounding states in the Northeast – is that our draconian, timid, most-stringent economy, business-and-job killing restrictions in the region – if not the country – is providing tremendous, needless economic & mental health pain, with zero health benefit.” said O’Scanlon in a statement. “New Jersey is months behind other states in reopening indoor dining and gyms–even at a limited capacity–and yet our rate of transmission, deaths & cases is no better than our surrounding states. On virtually every metric we see no benefit to these polices. But the damage is evident. On virtually every economic metric we are underperforming our Northeast neighbors, dramatically on many fronts. If you don’t think these numbers are a big deal, think again. Our taxes and budget decisions will be tortured. Unemployment, mortgage defaults and bankruptcies will impact us all. Our children and grandchildren will be stuck with the bills and consequences. The very survival of New Jersey as we know and love it hangs in the balance.”

The consequences for the Murphy Administration’s decisions are grim.

O’Scanlon noted, for example, how New Jersey’s unemployment rate (16.6% as of June) is 28% higher than that of her neighbor Pennsylvania’s unemployment figure and 69% higher than Connecticut’s current rate. New Jersey’s COVID-19 transmission rate is 1.1.  Connecticut’s .91 transmission rate comes despite having had, for example, indoor dining and gyms open for months (albeit at reduced capacity).

“As we have learned from other states there is obviously a balance between safety and economic health, but the administration acts as if NJ is somehow, miraculously different – epidemiologically and economically – from our neighbors. I have news for the Governor, no, we’re not,” added O’Scanlon. “The Governor’s quotes last week such as that he’s “trying to piece together what indoor dining could look like, what gyms could look like” are particularly distressing. If there is any – slight – benefit to our needlessly dragging our feet on these fronts it’s that we don’t need to wait for the Governor’s secretive brain trust to reinvent the wheel…JUST DO WHAT THESE OTHER STATES HAVE DONE! And do it now before we do any more harm.”

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