UNION CITY, N.J. - New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy went off on anti-vaccine protesters Wednesday at an event.
Murphy was in Union City to sign legislation allocating $750 million in funding for eviction prevention assistance and utility assistance when a group of protesters showed up. He quickly fired back at the group.
"These folks back there have lost their minds, you’ve lost your minds. You are the ultimate knuckleheads and because of what you are saying and standing for people are losing their life. People are losing their life and you have to know that. Look in the mirror, look in the mirror," Murphy said.
He stressed the importance of the COVID vaccine in the fight against the virus, "Get vaccinated if you are not vaccinated, please get vaccinated, period" he said.
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Workers at New Jersey’s state-run and some private health care facilities and high-risk, congregate living centers must get a COVID-19 vaccine or undergo regular testing for the virus, Murphy mandated on Monday.
Murphy, a Democrat running for reelection this year, said the change would likely affect "many thousands" of workers, but couldn’t specify how many. The requirement comes as new cases, particularly involving the contagious delta variant, are climbing in the state and elsewhere in the country.
New Jersey is also urging its residents to resume mask-wearing in certain indoor settings after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued updated mask-wearing guidance.
To date, over 10 million total vaccine doses have been administered statewide.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.