‘There’s pent-up frustration’: State Sen. O’Scanlon suggests New Jerseyans should defy Gov. Murphy’s orders

Republican State Sen. Declan O’Scanlon stirred up some controversy over the weekend with a tweet suggesting that New Jersey residents should defy Gov. Phil Murphy’s stay-at-home executive orders.

News 12 Staff

May 11, 2020, 11:28 AM

Updated 1,436 days ago

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Republican State Sen. Declan O’Scanlon stirred up some controversy over the weekend with a tweet suggesting that New Jersey residents should defy Gov. Phil Murphy’s stay-at-home executive orders.
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O’Scanlon wrote on Twitter Saturday night, “So, first time I'm going to suggest this, but it's time. Everyone, defy the @GovMurphy! Go outside your house!! It's OK, you can trust me! Look South/Southeast, revel in that moon! We're likely going to take this rebellion a few steps further next couple weeks. Get ready!”
The tweet appeared to be in response to a portion of New Jersey’s population calling for Murphy to reopen the state’s economy.
“There’s a huge pent-up frustration. People are looking for leadership from the governor,” O’Scanlon says.
The senator says that the tweet was mostly tongue-in-cheek.
“I won’t deny there was a connection to people’s frustrations as to a lack of a plan moving forward and to some of the more draconian…inclination to micromanage from the state for our reopening. Those two things are a problem,” O’Scanlon says.
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The governor responded to O’Scanlon’s comments at Monday’s virus press briefing.
“I have to remind him, we both live in Monmouth County. There are just under 7,000 positives as of today in Monmouth County and 445 people have died from our county. So, I want to open the state as much as the next guy, trust me,” Murphy said.
But O’Scanlon says that the state’s economy must open soon.
“They’re codependent things. Saving our economy is saving lives. Failure to save our economy sacrifices lives,” he says.
O’Scanlon says that some stores like small clothing shops should be able to reopen and that the Jersey Shore economy needs a prosperous Memorial Day weekend. He says that he is not critical of some of the governor’s earlier actions.
“The lockdown. People have protested the lockdown and called this a hoax. That’s garbage. It wasn’t and the lockdown saved many lives,” says O’Scanlon.
The governor called data, including a decrease in new hospitalizations, “promising,” and said that specific dates for reopening may come soon.


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