Murphy on building temporary facilities and potential state lockdown: Not yet, but we reserve right to revisit all of this

Governor makes rounds on three morning talk shows

By Tom Bergeron
New Jersey | Mar 17, 2020 at 10:55 am

Gov. Phil Murphy made the rounds on a number of morning TV shows. Things are moving in real time right now, so here are some of the highlights of what he said — some of which are repeats/updates of his Monday afternoon update.

On the “Today” show

  • On whether the federal government can provide needed safety equipment and medical equipment:

“We’ve had an ask of the federal government. Our No. 1 objective is personal protective equipment for our health care first responders, boots on the ground. The good news: FEMA will help us stand up some drive-through testing, which we desperately need.

“The White House has generally been accepting of the ask. We’ve got a fraction of our personal protection equipment. They said, ‘We’ll do our best, but you all are going to have to go out and source some of this yourself.’ The problem is, this stuff’s not lying around. Everybody wants it.”

  • On whether the Army Corps of Engineers should come and start constructing makeshift hospitals in anticipation of overcapacity. Is this a reality for New Jersey?

“Potentially,” he said. “It’s part of the reason we’ve called up the National Guard. Because the National Guard can play a multitude of roles, including engineering and helping us construct.

“I think we’re probably first going to look at wings of hospitals that have been closed to reopen. And then full hospitals, we don’t have many of them, but we’ve got some of them that are closed and can be reopened. And maybe dormitory settings that can be converted to quarantine setup. Is the Army Corps potentially down the road? Absolutely. We’re going to take this in phases.”

On “Good Day New York

  • On needs from the federal government:

“We need basically three things out of the federal government,” he said. Then explained:

  1. Personal protection equipment: There’s only so much in New Jersey for the first line of folks who are taking care of the sick or taking care of the testing;
  2. Boots on the ground: FEMA has picked New Jersey as one of its first states to come in. It is going to help do drive-through testing
  3. Economic help: Down the road, the state is going to need a very significant amount of stimulus and support from the federal government financially. This will take an enormous toll. It’s a toll New Jersey will need federal partners to help with.
  • On his personal health:

“I’m feeling very well. I think, in a perfect world, I would have had a longer runway back into the saddle. But, with the coronavirus, I’m out there. I’m obviously being very careful with my own immune system; I’m being very careful in terms of personal interactions. But we need leadership right now, and I’ve got no choice.”

On PIX 11’s “Morning News” (which, by far, pressed him the most journalistically)

  • On the confirmed case of a 5-year-old have coronavirus:

“The good news is on the 5-year-old is that 5-year-old, bless their heart, is at home. And that’s a good sign.”

  • On whether the state should have a lockdown, as the San Francisco Bay Area has done:

“We are about as aggressive as any state in America right now. Basically, we’re screaming at people: Stay home. (And) we reserve the right to revisit all of this.”

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