By CBS3 Staff

UNION CITY, N.J. (CBS) — A fiery New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy confronted anti-vaccine protesters Wednesday at an event in North Jersey.

“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,” Murphy told the protesters.

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Murphy’s outburst comes as the CDC says parts of the tri-state area have “substantial” transmission COVID numbers. The Delta variant continues to spread, mainly among unvaccinated individuals.

Cape May County has the highest transmission rate in all of South Jersey and the Delaware Valley.

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In Camden County, which includes Cherry Hill, COVID cases are up 78% in the last week.

“We have trouble brewing as we enter the school year, this is not going in the right direction,” Camden County Commissioner Director Louis Cappelli said. “Unfortunately, this pandemic is far from over.”

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The governor was in Union City, Hudson County to sign legislation allocating $750 million for eviction prevention and utility assistance.