New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy (D), indicated on Friday that his administration would police the COVID vaccination status of residents hoping to utilize public transportation or attend events.
Murphy was asked about vaccination cards, which indicate that an individual has received a COVID vaccine. He encouraged his constituents to keep the card on their person, insinuating that proof of vaccination may be necessary to return to public spaces in a normal fashion.
“Don't get rid of the card. That is likely to be something valuable. Laminate it. Put it in your wallet,” Murphy said, adding that “The CDC takes the lead, number one, but we have our own independent process. In terms of what that card, what value that card will have other than your own personal health, [is] to be determined.”
.@GovMurphy suggests on @SquawkCNBC that NJ is looking at requiring residents to show proof of a COVID vaccine to before going to public events or riding public transportation.— Will Reinert (@willreinert) March 19, 2021
Garden Staters have the right to keep their health care decisions between themselves and their doctor. pic.twitter.com/HOpp8xalkz
Murphy’s comments indicate that a vaccination card confirming proof of inoculation could be a requirement for attending public events or boarding flights. The Republican Governors Association (RGA), looking to unseat Murphy in 2022, said that the governor’s suggestion is a “health privacy minefield,” and that Murphy’s constituents do not need him “in the waiting room” with jurisdiction over vaccination status.
"Governor Phil Murphy's suggestion that Garden Staters could be required to show proof of vaccine is a health privacy minefield," said RGA spokesman Will Reinert. "Hard-working New Jersey residents have the right to keep their health care decisions between themselves and their doctor, and don't need Phil Murphy in the waiting room telling patients to make sure they 'laminate' their vaccine card on the way out."
Murphy is also among the group of Democratic governors that botched the coronavirus response by forcing COVID-positive patients into nursing homes, ultimately causing thousands of deaths.