"Can't believe I have to say this at all, let alone for the second time. But here we are. NO CORONA PARTIES," New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy tweeted Saturday. His state is not abiding by his words. A sampling:
- A day earlier, police in Ewing Township broke up a gathering of 47 people in a 550-square-foot apartment and cited the organizer for violating Murphy's ban on social gatherings, issued a week earlier, per NBC News.
- A day after his reminder tweet, Lakewood police laid charges against a couple who'd hosted 40 to 50 people for a bar mitzvah on their front lawn, per NJ.com. Eliezer Silber, 37, and Miriam Silber, 34, were charged with one child endangerment count for each of their five children in attendance, with Eliezer also charged with violating Murphy's order, reports NBC News.
- On Monday, Lakewood police charged David Gluck, 42, and Abraham Haberfeld, 32, with maintaining a nuisance after finding 35 people inside a building that houses an Orthodox school and banquet hall, per NJ.com.
- A day later, Lakewood police crashed an afternoon engagement party, charging 10 adults—including a 99-year-old—with violating Murphy's order. Hosts Yaakov Kaufman, 47, and Eti Kaufman, 45, were additionally charged with six counts of child endangerment, police said.
- Murphy had warned that such gatherings were "illegal, dangerous, and stupid." "We will crash your party. You will pay a big fine. And we will name & shame you until EVERYONE gets this message into their heads," he wrote.
- As of Wednesday, New Jersey had 22,255 cases of COVID-19 and 355 deaths—91 of which were new, per WCAU.
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