Murphy not quarantining after trip to Biden inauguration
Gov. Phil Murphy is not quarantining after his trip to Washington, D.C., for the presidential inauguration because the trip fell within state guidelines for out-of-state travel.
According to a statement issued by his office, Murphy and wife Tammy left the state Tuesday afternoon and returned Wednesday afternoon.
The travel policy has a carve-out for essential workers — which applies to the governor as much as it did to then-President Donald Trump whenever he stayed in New Jersey.
“Governor Murphy’s short trip to Washington, D.C., is classified as essential travel and not subject to the travel advisory, as it is pursuant to his official duties as governor," a spokeswoman for Murphy said in a written response to New Jersey 101.5 on Friday. "The travel advisory also does not apply to individuals traveling to and from the state for work and those whose trip is 24 hours or less.”
Murphy toured the coronavirus vaccine megasite at the Moorsetown Mall on Friday morning, his first scheduled public appearance since the inauguration.
Assemblyman Jay Webber, R-Morris, on Thursday asked whether Murphy is following the state guidelines calling for a 10-day voluntary self-quarantine for travel lasting more than 24 hours to any state or territory beyond the neighboring states of New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Connecticut.
Webber accused the governor of flouting his own executive orders while marching in two protests in June and participating in "maskless and un-distanced photo ops with other politicians."
"Is Governor Murphy quarantining for the next seven days? Or, is he yet again thumbing his nose at the rest of New Jersey while he forces his rules on them?" Webber said in a written statement. "And if the governor does quarantine, unnecessarily restricting his own ability to oversee and manage the state’s affairs, was it really worth it while he needs to fix his stumbling vaccination rollout and protect lives and livelihoods that are literally at stake?"
Murphy lifted his stay-at-home order after participating in Black Lives Matter events in Hillside and Westfield in June and drew criticism for violating his own orders.
"I can't imagine what it would like if we said to people, 'You have to stay in, you have to ignore systemic racism.' I'm sorry," Murphy said at the time.
Webber introduced a bill after those marches that would nullify a executive order as soon as the governor who issued it was found to have "broken the rule," as Webber explained it on his Facebook page at the time.
EDITOR'S NOTE: This article has been updated to include comment from the governor's office.