New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy is being slammed for taking another family vacation during a COVID-19 surge, this time spending eight days in Costa Rica as cases in his state spiked 600% in the last month due to the highly-contagious Omicron variant.
Murphy, who is vice chair of the National Governors Association, dialed in from his tropical getaway to a COVID-19 response meeting with the nation’s governors and President Joe Biden on Monday.
The Democratic governor and his wife, Tammy Snyder Murphy, took off on their trip on December 22 and will be back Thursday. Aside from hopping on the video conference, Lt. Governor Sheila Oliver has been filling in as acting governor until Murphy gets back, according to a statement from his office.
HIs absence comes as New Jersey’s seven-day average for newly confirmed COVID-19 cases increased to 14,405 on Monday – a more than 200% increase from the 6,584 reported the week before.
The cases have jumped by roughly 300% percent from two weeks ago and have skyrocketed by over 600% from the end of last month.
‘It is fitting that President Biden escapes his responsibilities by traveling to a Delaware beach house after saying responses to COVID-19 should be left to the states, and then Governor Murphy runs off to a Costa Rican beach,’ said New Jersey Republican Representative Jeff Van Drew, who left the Democratic party last December.
Phil Murphy is being slammed for taking an eight-day vacation in Costa Rica, while COVID-19 cases in New Jersey spiked by 600% over the past month
Murphy, who is vice chair of the National Governors Association, dialed in from his tropical getaway to a COVID-19 response meeting with the nation’s governor’s and President Joe Biden on Monday
This isn’t the first time Murphy left the country while his state was being devastated by a COVID-19 spike. He and his family took a vacation in Italy in August while the Delta variant swept through the US.
Murphy defended his decision to go on his most recent getaway when asked at an unrelated event in Trenton if he thought it was the best time to take a trip.
‘We’re going to spend some time together as a family. Please God, we need that,’ he said, according to NJ.com.
Van Drew has called out Murphy for leaving the state on more than one occasion throughout the pandemic.
‘Governor Murphy defying orders, even his own, is nothing new. He has left the state of New Jersey on personal trips multiple times during the pandemic, yet continuously imposes mask mandates, vaccine mandates, and virtual school is now back on the table,’ he told Fox News.
‘If Governor Murphy can travel out of the country when the State Department urges the American people to stay put, Americans should be afforded the same discretion regarding their personal health choices just like our leaders,’ he added.
Murphy was also dragged by a number of Twitter users, including Dan Eberhart, the CEO of oil company Canary.
‘Phil Murphy barley [sic] won reelection, and he’s already wasting no time in heading off on vacation during the middle of a COVID outbreak,’ Eberhart wrote.
Murphy was branded a hypocrite after posting a tweet today saying, ‘We can’t let our guard down against COVID-19. We encourage all individuals who have received their vaccination to get a booster dose this holiday season.’
A number of replies said Murphy was letting his guard down because of his vacation, with one user named Carmela Corleone writing, ‘Vacationing in Costa Rica during a statewide health emergency. It’s good to be the king!’
Murphy was blasted in August after jetting off to Italy for a 10-day vacation to his 23-room multimillion-dollar villa in Umbria as the Delta variant surged in the state.
At the time, the governor also defended his decision to get some downtime.
‘Listen, I’m no different than any other family. After this past 17 months, just having a few days together is something that I think all of us want to do with our family, and I’m looking forward to that,’ he said.
Murphy narrowly defeated Republican opponent Jack Ciattarelli in November’s election. His rival had also slammed him on Twitter for his ill-timed Italy trip.
‘While ‘Rome is burning’ here in New Jersey, Murphy is living in the lap of luxury and too rich to care about the communities and families impacted by the small businesses who had to close their doors forever,’ Ciattarelli tweeted at the time.
Meanwhile, the Omicron variant has slammed the US, particularly the Northeast. New York has been the hardest struck with 167 out of every 100,000 residents testing positive for the virus every day, a 238 percent increase over the past two weeks. The Empire state has the highest infection rate in the U.S.
Seven states, including New Jersey, have more than 100 out of every 100,000 residents testing positive for Covid daily. New Jersey has 158 out of every 100,000 testing positive; Rhode Island has 130; Delaware has 106, and Maryland, Massachusetts and Ohio all have 104.