New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy (D) speaks at a Coronavirus press conference in Trenton, New Jersey.
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The New Republican Club in New York held a big indoor gala in Jersey City on Thursday night, wearing little or no mask or social distance, and sparked fierce criticism from the governor of New Jersey on Friday.
“Last night, @NYYRC allegedly crept into Jersey City to hold a“ gala fundraiser ”- ignoring our rules of social isolation and masquerading,” Phil Murphy, the Democratic Government of New Jersey, said on Twitter. “It’s beyond anyone willing to endanger people in another state.”
For the controversial incident, the U.S. reported a record number of new Covid-19 cases a day, current hospitalizations and one-day deaths on Thursday, signaling that the nationwide virus crisis is only accelerating.
Governor Murphy said, “Jersey City law enforcement is investigating the matter.”
“The gala was held in full compliance with all applicable laws and regulations, including capacity restrictions,” NYYRC President Gavin Wax said in an email. “Any proposal to the contrary and any legal threat is made in bad faith and with political motive. To the best of our knowledge, the First Amendment has not been deleted.”
The Metropolitan Republican Club personally held a Christmas party. At least 50 guests attended the coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic in Manhattan, New York, USA, on December 3, 2020.
Tayfun Coskun | Anadolu Agency Getty Images
NYYRC originally said the annual gala will be held at the Caldwell plant in Manhattan. The planned event has provoked criticism from New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and members of the New York City Council. NYYRC subsequently scrapped the venue of the event and refused to disclose the venue of the gala.
Images and videos later published on social media showed the event being held at the Maritime City Maritime Park in Jersey City. New Jersey allows indoor gatherings of up to 150 people for religious and political activities protected by the First Amendment, but participants in indoor events are required to wear face shields and stay on six feet, which did not happen at the gala.
Wax told Gothamist that the gala “had exactly 150 guests,” but when CNBC asked him to confirm the number, he said in an email, “This is the legal limit. We were under it. It is not certain that the final number , which has really been involved since it didn’t have a few shows. ”
Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop has issued a administrative order The closing of Maritime Parc on Friday “until operators prepare and submit a written action plan … outlining how they intend to follow Governor Phil Murphy’s governor’s instructions … on capacity assignments and wearing masks.”
A spokesman for Maritime Parc confirmed that the number of people at the event is within the specified capacity under current state restrictions. “All guests had to wear a mask when entering and leaving the event space. Although we cannot enforce the proposed social distance guidelines at larger gatherings, we informed all guests when entering the event,” the spokesman said in a statement.
“The New Jersey State Police visited compliance and reviewed the rules / regulations prior to the incident,” the statement said. “Maritime Parc is assisting the investigation in every way necessary and is happy to help.”
Highlights of the gala included keynote speaker James O’Keefe, founder of the far-right group Project Veritas, and Matt Gaetz of Florida, who wore a gas mask on the floor of the house in March while voting on Covid’s aid legislation.
Gaetz’s office did not answer the question of whether the congressman quarantined New Jersey’s policies before appearing at the event. New Jersey requires travelers arriving from outside the immediate region to isolate themselves for at least 14 days. Gaetz spoke on the floor of the house on Friday without a mask.
“Matt – We don’t like seeing you in New Jersey, and honestly I never want you to get back in that state,” Governor Murphy said on Twitter.
Gaetz took the place of former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, who was originally planned as a featured participant but withdrew from the event.
Mayor Fulop said on Twitter that “JC law enforcement is visiting the Marine Park this morning and is taking appropriate action under NJ law.”
The Jersey City Police Department did not respond to comments.