NJ Governor Phil Murphy has been working from home this week since he came into close contact with an individual who later tested positive for the virus. Once news about the governor's exposure got out, it likely piqued the curiosity of many of those in the Garden State. Is the guy who has jailed gym owners and asked voters to stay indoors and avoid seeing friends and family really going out and putting himself at risk?
Murphy and his wife, Tammy Murphy, risked exposure to the virus during a weekend jaunt over to the Pilsener Haus & Biergarten in trendy Hoboken for an event with several of the governor's top staffers.
The outdoors event, described by Murphy as a "social engagement," included both him and his wife, and roughly a half-dozen others, the governor said during a radio interview.
Murphy assured his audience that he felt "like a million bucks" that he had tested negative twice already this week, and would continue to be tested regularly. Murphy senior advisor Dan Bryan has tested positive, along with Michael DeLamater, deputy chief of staff for intergovernmental affairs.
The governor said he was only close to DeLamater for 15 minutes, and "we were outdoors".
When asked by the interviewer, Murphy acknowledged the futility in keeping face coverings in place at all times while visiting a restaurant or bar.
"We ourselves took them off," the governor told 1010 WINS AM radio. "Obviously, you can’t eat or drink through a mask."
The governor said he will continue to work from home, and be tested again Saturday and Monday.
New Jersey, like much of the rest of the US, is seeing cases increase as the colder weather arrives and schools fill out. On Wednesday, the state reported 852 COVID-19 patients in its hospitals, the most in three months.