Democratic New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy could not cite any data proving mask mandate work while speaking Monday on CNN.
Murphy announced Monday that the state would drop its mask mandates in school as case rate decline, and he joined CNN’s Jake Tapper to discuss mandates.
“As you know, most states do not have mask mandates for school,” Tapper said. “Have you seen evidence that these mask mandates have been necessary? That the spread and mortality rates in states where they didn’t have mask mandates were far worse than in places where they did have mask mandates like New Jersey?”
Murphy said there was “no question that masking in our schools since the beginning of the school year has been a very smart public health step. I think we’ve had just over 2,600 cases of students Covid positive since the beginning of the school year. That’s out of 1.4 million kids. So it is a pretty stark piece of evidence, I think, this has absolutely worked.
“But you have to meet the moment,” he continued. “You try always to not undershoot the moment and put lives at risk, or overshoot the moment and add more stress and mental health challenges to the system. And we think this plan of a month’s notice is going to get that as right as we can.”
“Have you seen data that definitely proves that these mask mandates have worked?” Tapper pushed. “I mean, the numbers you just presented are impressive but are they different from the numbers in states where they didn’t have mask mandates?” (RELATED: Florida Lawmaker Considers Cutting Funding For School Districts Requiring Masks)
Murphy then failed to cite any data showing his state fared better when compared to other states that do not have mask mandates.
“Again, I know Jersey the best. But I’m highly confident and I’m sure our health officials could say it definitively- there is no question it worked,” the governor said.
The state’s mask mandate for school children will end the second week of March. New Jersey is one of 11 states with a mask mandate for students. A recent study found masks made little difference in case rates in Florida when compared to states like New York and Massachusetts where mandates have been in effect statewide.