New Jersey targets ‘knuckleheads’ in new social distancing campaign

Don’t be a coronavirus knucklehead!

New Jersey officials have launched a new campaign to try to shame locals into social distancing — saying curbing idiotic behavior is the only way it will finally end its coronavirus lockdown.

“DON’T BE A KNUCKLEHEAD. KEEP A SAFE DISTANCE,” warn new signs on highways, as shown in a short video tweeted by Gov. Phil Murphy.

Murphy used the same term at a press briefing Saturday, saying that the only way the Garden State can ever fully re-open is curbing the “knucklehead” behavior of people refusing to social distance, which only heightens the spread.

“The family, friends and neighbors who we have lost are the reason why we can’t rush our restart,” Murphy said, according to Bloomberg.

“If we are reckless we will lose not just more, but many more beyond that.”

The state — second only to New York for coronavirus cases and deaths — allowed state parks and golf courses to re-open Saturday for the first time since early April.

“If we hear reports of people not taking either their health or … the health of other park-goers seriously then we won’t hesitate to — and I don’t say this with any joy — to close them again,” Murphy said. “If we can do this, and I know we can, then we will be able to move forward.”

But his attention-grabbing term has riled up critics who accuse him of demeaning the state’s residents.

“The sophomoric language is unbecoming of the Governor, and certainly not fair to the people of New Jersey,” Sen. Joe Pennacchio said in a statement, saying he “strongly” condemned the “disrespectful” term.

“Webster defines a knucklehead as a ‘stupid person.’ Is that what you think of sacrificing New Jersey citizens? Really?”

New Jersey has had 7,742 deaths from Covid-19, Murphy said, and total confirmed cases were at 123,717 as of Saturday.

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