What does Murphy know that CDC doesn’t?
What does Gov. Phil Murphy know that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention does not?
That was the questions put to Murphy when he appeared on CBS' Face the Nation on Sunday regarding his decision to lift the controversial school mask mandate.
"The CDC, which we have been adherent to from the get go, and we think they're doing a terrific job," Murphy said, "We just think they have a much more complex realty. The science, the data, and the facts on the ground in New Jersey have allowed us to take this step."
Murphy defended his lifting of the mask mandate by saying New Jersey's "experience right now is very different than the average American state's experience."
He referenced what he says is a "dramatic" drop in the state's rate of transmission (r/t), positivity rate, hospitalizations, cases and in-school transmission.
The metrics released by the state over the weekend showed just 948 new positive COVID tests on Saturday. The weekly average number of cases is down 93% since last month. Hospitalizations have dropped to 1,408. The r/t is .50.
The decision to unmask kids is ultimately up to each individual district.
Newark, Plainfield and Camden schools have already announced they will continue to require masks for students and staff.
Murphy said he expects the majority of school districts to lift the mandate as the weather gets warmer, and it's only a matter of time before the CDC changes its guidance.
Meanwhile, former Gov. Chris Christie joined the chorus of critics demanding Murphy lift the mandate now, and not wait until March 7.
Speaking on ABC's This Week, Christie said, "If he has scientific reason for doing it, he would give that scientific reason. He doesn't have one." Christie is among those that believes Murphy's decision is purely political. Something Murphy has denied.