New Jersey Dem Gov. Murphy caught maskless at indoor ball: 'Let them wear masks'
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New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, Democratic National Convention co-chair, joins Chris Wallace with insight on 'Fox News Sunday.'
New Jersey Governor Phil Murphywas caught maskless at an indoor ball weeks after imposing a mask mandate for young children in school.
The Democratic governor attended the Equality Ball on Friday put on by the nonprofit Garden State Equality with other New Jersey officials at the Asbury Lanes in Asbury Park, a part of the Monmouth County that has the highest risk of COVID-19 transmission, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
That didn't stop the party, though, as Murphy – who is up for reelection this year – and the other attendees were caught with their masks down.
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Attendees to the dinner were maskless, as revealed by pictures posted online, and Murphy as well as Rep. Frank Pallone, D-N.J., were seen not wearing masks.
Several state lawmakers spoke out on the governor’s maskless gallivanting.
State Senator Holly Schepisi told Fox News in an email statement that the maskless party "is this type of hypocrisy that is driving people in New Jersey insane."
"At the very same time that this Governor issued another EO mandating two year olds wear masks for upwards of 7 hours a day because of purported ‘safety,’ the New Jersey political democratic elite gathered maskless by the thousands at multiple indoor events throughout the State, including in "high-risk" Asbury Park, Bergen and Hudson Counties," Schepisi continued.
"The people of New Jersey are being told by this administration that they must comply, don't ask questions or get labeled a knucklehead or worse while those demanding compliance flout the very policies they push," she added. "It is wrong."
Schepisi’s fellow state Senator Michael Testa said that the maskless merrymaking was "another example of Murphy’s hypocrisy as he continues to force pointless pandemic mandates on regular New Jerseyans that he and other elite Democrats cavalierly ignore when they think nobody is watching."
"We can imagine King Murphy saying to the laughter of his court, 'Let them wear masks,’" he added.
New Jersey has mask requirements for a small scope of situations, such as in schools, public transportation and healthcare settings, but generally does not require masks for citizens. Instead, the governor's office highly recommends the use of masks "for both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals in indoor settings where there is increased risk."
Murphy has spoken on his state's mask requirements, as well, recommending masks for people who don't know the vaccination status of the people around them if they are traveling or in a tightly packed space.
"I'm not talking about having dinner with your husband or wife at your table," Murphy said in September. "I'm talking about being packed in on each other, and you're not confident that you know the vaccination status of the people that you're around."
Additionally, the Equality Ball required full vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test for people to attend.
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Murphy’s order comes shortly after he issued an executive order mandating masks for children, including toddlers as young as 2 years old.
Since the start of the pandemic, New Jersey ranked as one of the top five states seeing the most per capita deaths from COVID-19.
The governor’s office declined to comment.
Houston Keene is a reporter for Fox News Digital. You can find him on Twitter at @HoustonKeene.