Murphy’s office says no plans for ‘blanket COVID vax mandate’ in NJ
Gov. Phil Murphy's administration now denies there are plans for "a blanket COVID-19 vaccine mandate" if Murphy is re-elected.
The conservative activist group "Project Veritas" released a secretly recorded video showing Murphy campaign aides saying that the governor would impose broader vaccine mandates after the election is over.
Late last night, the governor's office released a statement to The Lakewood Scoop website saying, "The administration has never had plans, nor is it making plans, for a blanket Covid-19 vaccine mandate."
Wendy Martinez, a consultant hired to work on Murphy's campaign, is seen and heard on video saying there would definitely be a mandate.
“He is going to do it, but he couldn't do it before the elections. Because of the independents and the undecided,” Martinez says in Spanish, later adding that “right now is about him winning.”
Matthew Urquijo, manager of a coordinated campaign called Forward 2021, which is funded by the New Jersey Democratic State Committee, said Murphy is waiting to act to avoid angering swing voters.
Urquijo is heard saying, “Because, you know, for some people, that's going to piss them off. I think once, you know, we have a win, he’s like, ‘Alright, guns blazing, like, who cares, I'm in it. Let's do the mandates, let’s do this, X, Y, and Z.’”
The statement to The Lakewood Scoop claims, "This video does not depict any member of the administration, or anyone involved in public health policy."
When the video was initially released, the Murphy campaign did not deny the assertions made by the campaign aides. In a statement, the campaign attacked the methods used by Project Veritas to obtain the video.
Murphy has not personally commented on the video. He is scheduled to hold his regular COVID briefing at 1 p.m. Wednesday.