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Jersey City venue shut down for COVID-19 violations after NY Young Republican gala

A Jersey City restaurant that hosted a political gala put on by a New York Republican club was ordered temporarily closed on Friday over potential violations of coronavirus guidelines.

News 12 Staff

Dec 4, 2020, 11:26 PM

Updated 1,292 days ago

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A Jersey City restaurant that hosted a political gala put on by a New York Republican club was ordered temporarily closed on Friday over potential violations of coronavirus guidelines.
Numerous photos posted on Twitter showed dozens of maskless partiers at the New York Young Republican Club event at Maritime Parc on Thursday night. Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop, a Democrat, said in an emailed statement that the event at the restaurant was “an egregious violation” of state coronavirus guidelines. He ordered the restaurant temporarily closed.
The club's president said the group had done nothing wrong, saying in a statement, “We followed all the rules and regulations to the letter of the law. Well within capacity limits, temperature checks, contact tracing and out of the venue by 10 p.m. The venue would not have agreed otherwise.”
But officials in New Jersey say that the rules for indoor gatherings were not followed correctly, citing numerous photos of the event posted on social media.
“We have clear evidence through pictures posted by the participants, willing and quite openly – they were removing their masks for those pictures in non-conformity with the governor’s orders,” says Jersey City Prosecutor Jake Hudnut.
One of the tweets posted by a guest at the gala seemed to bait New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, by stating “come and get me.” Hudnut responded to that threat by closing the Maritime Parc venue.
“When somebody like this throws it in our face, throws it in the face of our mayor, throws it in the face of a governor across the river and throws it in the face of our governor – zero tolerance from the city of Jersey City. You will be shut down," Hudnut said.
Gov. Phil Murphy addressed the controversy at his COVID-19 briefing on Friday, even criticizing Republican Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz, who was the keynote speaker at the event.
“It is beyond the pale anyone would willingly endanger people in another state, never mind their own,” Murphy said. “That is Rep. Matt ‘Putz’ – sorry, Matt Gaetz and based on his past performances, it is obviously being a knucklehead is not beyond the pale."
Murphy added, “What a fool. He and they should be ashamed of themselves. He is not welcome in New Jersey, and frankly I won’t want you back in the state."
Rep. Gaetz responded on Twitter, writing that Murphy would “regret this tweet when you move to Florida like the rest of New Jersey."
Jersey City officials are investigating if the event was over capacity – which according to Murphy’s executive orders is 25% or 150 people.
A spokesperson for Maritime Parc did not respond to requests for comment.
The Associated Press wire services contributed to this report.


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