Fox News host Tucker Carlson pressed Democratic New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy over some of the steps he has taken to flatten the curve of the Wuhan coronavirus within the state.
Among some of the "stay-at-home" orders, Murphy had initially closed down gun stores for being a "non-essential" business. He later backed off after the Department of Homeland Security issued guidance stating they considered gun stores to be an essential business.
Other aspects of the order include bans on large gatherings that include religious services. Carlson asked why such bans have been instituted with COVID-19 when it is not in place with other diseases.
"I wouldn’t say it’s a different standard, and maybe it’s the way I said it today, but here’s the reality, you get that economic recovery, that responsible reopening after you've cracked the back of this. I don’t think any of us can expect that we can get this to zero, particularly in the absence of a vaccine, and it sounds like that’s a year, year and a half away. But I do think, and I said this today and we believe this strongly, that we need a much broader testing regime," Murphy said. "And that will give us confidence if we can quickly test folks. Rutgers University, our state university, by the way, started this week with a saliva test which they think can be scaled up dramatically."
Murphy said he was unable to determine what the death toll from the coronavirus will be, but added more testing is needed to really keep track of the active cases and deaths.
"So, you made that decision, and as I noted before, 15 congregants at a synagogue in New Jersey were arrested and charged for being in a synagogue together. Now, the Bill of Rights, as you well know, protects Americans, enshrines their right to practice their religion as they see fit and to congregate together to assemble peacefully. By what authority did you nullify the Bill of Rights in issuing this order? How do you have the power to do that?" Carlson asked.
"That’s above my pay grade, Tucker. I wasn’t thinking of the Bill of Rights when we did this," Murphy began to reply.
"I can tell," Carlson quipped.
"The science said people have to stay away from each other. That's the best thing we can do to break the back of the curve that leads to lower hospitalization and ultimately save lives," Murphy continued.
The United States has over 639,055 confirmed cases with more than 30,925 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University. At least 47,763 people who had the virus have recovered.
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