Gov. Phil Murphy has been quick to criticize Republican leaders — particularly President Donald Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell — but he repeatedly has shown a willingness to give credit when credit is due.
When asked Sunday on Fox News whether he gives credit to Trump for the three vaccines that have shown strong success in trials, Murphy, a Democrat, was straight to the point.
“I do, period,” he said.
Murphy said he is in frequent contact with administration officials, including Vice President Mike Pence. He also gave credit to numerous other administration officials, as well as the private sector and a commitment to public health.
Murphy was quick to say, however, the fight is not over.
“The great news is there’s light at the end of the tunnel — vaccines in particular,” he said. “But, for the next two or three months, we’re in the fight of our lives.”
Getting the public vaccinated will be a huge challenge, he said.
“There’s a lot of complexity ahead of us in distribution,” he said. “This is going to be a very historic path that we’re on. Again, I give (the administration) credit for the progress we’ve made, but we’ve got a distance yet to travel.”
Murphy said that road would be easier if Trump and President-elect Joe Biden worked together.
“The more the president-elect and the president are speaking from the same playbook, the more confidence folks will have in taking that vaccine,” he said. “My confidence is very, very high. We need to make sure that’s the case in the public at large.”