New Jersey Republicans Disturbed by Video Alleging Murphy Will Mandate Vaccines If Reelected

By Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Reporter
Zachary Stieber covers U.S. news and stories relating to the COVID-19 pandemic. He is based in Maryland.
October 28, 2021 Updated: October 28, 2021

Republicans in New Jersey called on Gov. Phil Murphy to ramp up transparency after undercover video footage indicates the Democrat is planning to impose COVID-19 vaccine mandates if he wins another term.

“This extremely disturbing video appears to confirm what the Murphy campaign has been hinting at—and the NJGOP has been warning about—throughout the summer: that a second Murphy term will bring about the same type of vaccine passports seen in Bill de Blasio’s New York, burdening already suffering businesses and discriminating against minority communities in which immunization rates are lower,” Tom Szymanski, executive director of the New Jersey Republican Party, said in a statement.

People in New York City entering many businesses, including restaurants, are forced to produce proof they’ve received a COVID-19 vaccine under Mayor de Blasio’s executive orders.

A spokeswoman for the campaign of Jack Ciattarelli, the Republican challenging Murphy, said that the video “appears to show high-level Phil Murphy campaign advisers revealing that the governor is secretly planning to implement a statewide vaccine mandate if reelected, but refusing to do so before the election because it would hurt him politically.”

“If true, this is the ultimate hypocrisy and an appalling lack of transparency,” she said.

Epoch Times Photo
New Jersey Republican gubernatorial candidate Jack Ciattarelli participates in a campaign event in Rutherford, N.J., on Oct. 27, 2021. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

The video in question shows Wendy Martinez, a senior adviser to Murphy, saying Murphy plans to do mandates but not until after winning reelection.

“The independents and the undecided would not vote for him if he did the mandates?” the Project Veritas journalist recording the footage asks. Martinez agrees, saying: “Because they’re into all that [expletive]. My rights, my [expletive].”

Matthew Urquijo, a manager for Forward NJ, a project of the New Jersey Democratic State Committee, was also recorded saying he thinks Murphy will impose mandates but won’t right now “because it’s election season.”

The gubernatorial election in New Jersey is scheduled for Nov. 2.

The committee didn’t respond to the comments directly but issued a statement calling on Ciattarelli to condemn Project Veritas, alleging some of its employees had harassed Martinez and others associated with Murphy’s campaign.

Video footage released by the committee and Project Veritas shows James O’Keefe, the project’s head, confronting Martinez with the undercover footage of her talking about mandates and asking her for comment.

Murphy’s office said in a statement to news outlets that the video “does not depict any member of the administration, or anyone involved in public health policy.”

“The governor’s office cannot speak to the video or anyone involved. The administration has never had plans, nor is it making plans, for a blanket COVID-19 vaccine mandate,” it stated.

Murphy, asked on Oct. 27 about possibly forcing people across New Jersey to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination to dine out or attend events, said he “would never say ‘heck no’ to anything.”

Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber covers U.S. news and stories relating to the COVID-19 pandemic. He is based in Maryland.