New Jersey elections seen as a test of coronavirus mandates

Six weeks after declaring that New Jersey elementary school students will again need to wear masks in class, Governor Philip de Murphy, a Democrat, issued a new executive order, 264: Children age 2 and older in day care centers must wear face coverings.

The outcries of opposition were swift and fierce, and became an instant talking point for Jack Ciatarelli, a Republican who is defying Mr. Murphy’s bid for reelection.

“This is unconstitutional, un-American and has no scientific backing,” said a fundraising email from Mr Ciattarelli and his colleague, Diane Allen, about the practice, which is Recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

New Jersey competition, which together with Virginia It is one of only two governor races in the country ahead of next year’s midterm elections, and is seen by some as an early barometer of voter sentiment.

“The takeaway will be: Are we competitive or not?” Leonard Lance, a New Jersey Republican and former congressman, said: He lost his seat in the 2018 midterm elections Democrats have also been angry with President Donald J. Trump and his policies have upended control of the House of Representatives.

Mr. Murphy tried to attack Mr. Ciattarelli to Mr. Trump, who lost to President Biden New Jersey By 16 Points – View a potential preview of upcoming attack types next year.

But New Jersey’s November 2 election also provides one of the first tests statewide for how voters feel about tougher coronavirus mandates as the health crisis extends into its 20th month and pandemic fatigue builds.

Voters polled in polls continued to give Mr. Murphy some of it highest marks Because of the way he’s responded to the pandemic, and he has said he believes it was one of the most defining issues that separate him from Mr. Ciattarelli. Last week, Mr. Murphy refused to rule out mandating a Covid-19 vaccine for students, a step he has taken California, where, as early as next fall, a vaccination against the virus will be required to go to school.

Sealy Avelinda, executive director of the New Jersey Democratic State Committee, said she believes wearing masks and vaccination will be the most important factors driving voters to the polls.

“It’s the issue that affects everyone the most, and it affects everyone in real time,” Ms Avelinda said. “People are really terrified of New Jersey being pushed back to Florida or Texas in the Covid response.”

However, along the Jersey Shore in Ocean County, where Mr. Trump nearly won 30 pointsIt remains easy to find anti-muzzle signs that read “Free the Smiles”. And across the state, some local boards of education meetings have become tense, with clashes between parents who have opposed the wearing of masks in schools and officials demanding that the state’s mandate be enforced.

In northern New Jersey, Republican Senator Holly Spicey said her office has been taking calls from parents “on both sides of the aisle” to express concerns about new mask requirements for 2-year-olds, who are now without masks in daycares. throughout the epidemic.

She said the executive order issued last month was impractical.

“It’s hard enough to keep their shoes or diapers on,” said Ms. Spicy, who is a member of the Senate Health Committee and is part of Bergen and Passaic counties. In addition to the question “Why now?” Was, where does this come from? “

There are almost more registered Democrats in New Jersey than Republicans 1.1 million voters, giving Mr. Murphy several built-in advantage Polls They showed that Mr. Ciattarelli is struggling to get over it.

Report released on Friday by covid state progekResearch and tracking efforts by several universities have found that governors of states that block vaccine mandates, including Arkansas, Arizona and Idaho, have the lowest approval ratings. Support for pandemic policies nationwide has declined since June, but Mr. Murphy’s initiatives have remained popular with 60 percent of respondents, said David Lazer, a professor of political science at Northeastern University and one of the project’s researchers.

“In June, it was ‘mission accomplished,’ and in September, ‘we are back in this nightmare,’” Professor Lazer said. “The good news for incumbents at the moment is that the virus appears to be on the decline.”

In August, Mr. Ciattarelli appeared at the Toms River Board of Education meeting to Conflict authorization of the mask within the school, claiming that masks prevent learning and that parents – not the ruler – should be able to choose.

Ms. Shabesi, who was hospitalized with Covid-19 before vaccines were easily available, is encouraging eligible residents to get vaccinated against the virus and supports internal masking for students age 5 and older. But she said the lack of legislative involvement in the rule-making process has struck a nerve. She said polls were missing “the undercurrent of people who really believe the government is overstepping its bounds now.”

Lawrence E. agreed.

“It eliminates the choices that people have,” said Mr. Bathgate. “Is that what you want for another four years?”

At the beginning of the summer, Mr. Murphy, 64, became one of the The last rulers of the country To eliminate the mandate of the inner mask of the state. Two months later, as cases linked to the highly contagious Delta variant rose, he “strongly recommended” people to wear masks again indoors.

He has required staff at schools, daycares and health care facilities to be fully vaccinated or take regular testing – an important choice for the state’s powerful teachers union, one of Mr. Murphy’s strongest allies.

Other regions have stricter rules. in New York City, teachers And health care workers Vaccination cannot be opted out, and patrons of gyms and restaurants must provide proof of vaccination to enter.

What to know about booster shots for Covid-19

FDA authorized booster shots A select group of people who received their second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine at least six months ago. This group includes: Pfizer recipients who are 65 years of age or older or who live in long-term care facilities; adults at high risk of contracting severe Covid-19 due to an underlying medical condition; Health care workers and others whose jobs put them at risk. people with weak immune system Eligible for a third dose of Pfizer or Moderna four weeks after the second injection.

Regulators haven’t released booster doses for Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccine recipients yet, but FDA . plate scheduled to meet To weigh the booster doses of adult recipients of Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines.

The CDC said that conditions that qualify a person for a booster dose include: high blood pressure and heart disease. diabetes or obesity; Cancer or blood disorders. Weak immune system Chronic lung, kidney or liver disease. Dementia and some disabilities. Pregnant women and current and former smokers are also eligible.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved boosters for workers whose jobs put them at significant risk of exposure to potentially infectious people. The CDC says this group includes: education workers; food and agricultural workers; manufacturing workers; repair workers; United States Postal Service workers; public transport workers; Grocery store workers.

Not recommended. Currently, recipients of the Pfizer vaccine are advised to receive a booster dose of Pfizer, and recipients of the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccine must wait until the booster doses from these manufacturers are approved.

Yes really. The CDC says the Covid vaccine can be given regardless of the timing of other vaccines, and many pharmacy locations allow people to schedule a flu shot at the same time as a booster dose.

After adding income tax 1 million dollars and borrow $3.67 billion In anticipation of a budget shortfall linked to the pandemic that has proven less serious than expected, Mr. Murphy has pledged not to raise taxes during a second term. He also said he would continue to focus on tackling the climate crisis.

where He defeated two candidates loyal to Mr. Trump To win the Republican primaries, Mr. Ciattarelli, a former state councilor who was known for his moderate views, thwarted issues galvanizing the former president’s conservative base.

Bringing up a tough topic on crime, he also emphasized the state and nation’s escalation of shootings and criticized the legalization of marijuana.

He once called Mr. Trump a Juggler He said Mr. Biden won the election legitimately. But Mr Ciattarelli has been repeatedly forced to defend his decision to appear at the “Stop Theft” rally after the November elections, including during the first debate last month.

The The second and final discussion It is scheduled for Tuesday night.

“They’re trying to appeal to Trump’s base,” said former Governor Christie Todd Whitman, the Republican who was on Monday. She urged her party to support the Democrats in the midterm elections as a bulwark against “Trump extremists”.

Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute, said “latent partisanship” had undermined the candidates’ ability to attract voters from the opposition party.

Voter turnout is seen as a vital part of Mr Ciattarelli’s calculations. a Monmouth Poll Conducted in September found that Mr. Ciattarelli trailed Mr. Murphy by 13 percentage points.

“He needs to revitalize his base and for the other party to be satisfied or frustrated,” said Mr. Murray, Mr. Ciattarelli.

“You won’t get them to vote for you,” he said of Mr. Murphy’s supporters. “What you’re trying to do is get them to stay home.”

Both camps hope to upgrade early voting.

For the first time, New Jersey offers nine days early Automated personal voting At polling sites, starting from October 23, to join a most countries that already offer the option.

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