Some Americans are not taking the COVID-19 pandemic as seriously as they should be. In New Jersey, that can be a punishable offense.
A party consisting of 47 people in Ewing Township was stopped by police Friday after they received an anonymous tip, according to WTXF-TV in nearby Philadelphia.
Wade Jackson, 47, was charged with violating an executive order by organizing his “corona party.”
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy addressed the incident in a tweet Saturday.
“Last night, Ewing Township Police broke up a party with 47 people – including a DJ – crammed into a 550-square foot apartment,” the Democrat said. “The organizer was charged, as they should have been and deserved to be. This is not a game. Stay home. Be smart.”
Last night, Ewing Township Police broke up a party with 47 people – including a DJ – crammed into a 550-square foot apartment. The organizer was charged, as they should have been and deserved to be.
This is not a game. Stay home. Be smart.
— Governor Phil Murphy (@GovMurphy) March 28, 2020
Murphy had threatened to take such an action two days earlier, tweeting, “Anybody who has a ‘corona party’ in New Jersey — we will crash your party. And you will pay a big price for that.”
Anybody who has a “corona party” in New Jersey – we will crash your party. And you will pay a big price for that.
Stay home. Be smart.
— Governor Phil Murphy (@GovMurphy) March 26, 2020
There have been many other examples of citizens acting negligently in regard to the novel coronavirus.
On March 17, spring breakers flooded Florida beaches despite calls from health officials to begin practicing social distancing.
In a video that has since gone viral, one spring breaker told Reuters, “If I get corona, I get corona. At the end of the day, I’m not gonna let it stop me from partying.”
These stories showcase the delicate balancing act that local and state governments are performing during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In order to limit the spread, various government officials have issued executive orders that restrict Americans’ constitutional liberties.
For example, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio threatened to “permanently” shut down any house of worship that continues to hold services throughout the crisis.
“If you go to your synagogue, if you go to your church and attempt to hold services, after having been told so often not to, our enforcement agents will have no choice, but to shut down those services,” de Blasio said during a news conference on Friday.
In addition to the First Amendment right to practice religion freely, it appears that the Second Amendment right to bear arms is under fire as well.
Several Democrat-run states and municipalities, such as Los Angeles County and New Jersey, have labeled gun stores as “nonessential” businesses that must close for an indeterminate period of time until the crisis is over.
State and local governments across the country will continue to weigh actions taken to protect the public from the coronavirus pandemic against the rights guaranteed under the Constitution.
It is becoming increasingly clear that following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendations by limiting the number of large gatherings is vitally important in order to limit COVID-19’s spread.
That being said, Americans are going to have to decide just how many freedoms they are willing to give up over the next several weeks and months in the name of safety.
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