New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) on Sunday said that there should be a national mask requirement to combat the spread of COVID-19 as cases spike in several cities, during an interview on MSNBC.
When asked about President Trump’s baseless claim during a Fourth of July event at the White House saying that 99% of coronavirus cases are “harmless,” Murphy responded “this thing is lethal” and that New Jersey “paid an enormous price” before calling for a “national strategy.”
“We’ve lost over 13,000 confirmed fatalities from COVID-19. We’re starting to see small spikes in reinfection from folks coming back from places like Myrtle Beach, as well as in Florida, other hot spots,” Murphy said. “To me it says we need a national strategy. We’re only as strong as our weakest link right now.”
Murphy added that his state “went through hell” and “cannot afford to go through hell again.”
“We need a national strategy I think right now,” Murphy said. “And masking has got to be at the core of that.”
After praising New Jerseyans for doing “the right thing since the get-go” and touting the state’s contact tracing program, Murphy was asked whether he thinks that there should be a national mask requirement.
Murphy agreed, saying “I do” and that the issue of wearing masks has “become almost not even debatable.”
“Certainly when you’re going out and absolutely indoors,” Murphy said. “As I mentioned, this virus is a lot more lethal inside than outside. But if you’re leaving your house put on a mask. I think it ought to be a national, a national requirement.”
Murphy’s call to issue a nationwide mask requirement comes on the heels of President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence stopping short of committing to making mask requirements mandatory even after finally encouraging the public to wear masks.
Last week, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) told CNN that it’s “definitely long overdue” for a federal mandate on wearing masks.
Watch Murphy’s remarks below:
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy says a national mask requirement is "not debatable" pic.twitter.com/RGye9a6aBc
— Talking Points Memo (@TPM) July 5, 2020
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