Mar 20, 2020
New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy March 20 Coronavirus Briefing Transcript
New Jersey governor Phil Murphy gives a March 20 COVID-19 press conference for the state of Minnesota. Read the transcript here.
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Phil Murphy: (00:00)
… involved with a whole range of initiatives including the testing that we did today here at Bergen County College. And then, in the category of very special guests, we have immediately to Jim’s left, the Executive Vice Chairman of BioReference, Dr. John Cohen. John, great to have you with us. It’s an honor to have you. To his left, LabCorp Senior Vice President, Bill Haas. Bill, thank you for your being here and for your help. And, the guy who oversees the Department of Health’s testing, Dr. Tom Kirn on the end of Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. So to you guys, thank you for your presence here today and we’ll hear from at least a couple of you.
Phil Murphy: (00:44)
I want to go back to Josh Gottheimer and I want to acknowledge his leadership and partnership in seeing that the needs of New Jersey and of our families are being met at the federal level. We also know that our work is far from done. In particular, we’re going to need strong federal action to assist states directly. This is something that my fellow governors and I made very clear to President Trump and Vice President Pence not just yesterday, but certainly yesterday on our video conference.
Phil Murphy: (01:12)
Just to give you a sense of the numbers that we’re talking about here, and I might add that I had a very good conversation with Governor Cuomo this morning and Governors Wolf, Governor Lamont and Governor Carney now from Delaware, who is also in our cabal. We’ve had very good exchanges here over the course of the day and I’m speaking to at least some of them directly later on, but just to give you a sense of the magnitude of the federal assistance, and we’re talking about direct cash assistance. There’s a term of art, block grants, which you may hear, but just the four States, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania, we think roughly we’re going to need $100 billion dollars of direct cash assistance to help us get through this emergency to be able to recover.
Phil Murphy: (02:06)
Now New Jersey is the state I know the best. We’re at the front lines with the workers who are going through hell right now, with the small businesses, with all of the various communities in need, and we are filling that void, but at the same time, this is really expensive. The meter’s running. The best way without question for us to solve that riddle is to let us continue to be at the front lines and to get that direct cash assistance to come in and help us to continue to fund that assistance in those programs which are now myriad and costing many, many hundreds of millions of dollars over the next very short period of time. So Josh, for that, I want to thank you and your colleagues.
Phil Murphy: (02:53)
We have the best federal delegation in the entire state. I was back and forth … Another example … with the Congressman Donald Payne earlier today, whose subcommittee in the Committee of Homeland Security oversees FEMA, and I want to give FEMA Region II a big shout out for their help in our testing today here on campus. But Donald Payne, again, I could say something about literally everyone of the members on both sides of the aisle, but Josh, we’re in your backyard, man, and God bless you. We’ll hear from you in a few minutes. And then, the man in my left, to the County executive, another dear friend. I thank you, Jim, for your strong leadership over the past couple of weeks.
Phil Murphy: (03:34)
This County and you’ll hear it again today from the numbers that we report is being hit the hardest in our state, and you have been called to make some very tough decisions to keep your residents safe. We’ve been working together throughout and I thank you Jim for your partnership. Bergen County is in the very best of hands.
Phil Murphy: (03:53)
Just to give you another couple of updates since we last saw you. I mentioned Judy and I and other [inaudible 00:03:59] with the President and Vice President yesterday. We reiterated our thanks for the boots on the ground, FEMA Region II … By the way, Jared Maples is with us, director of office of Homeland Security, and Jared, thank you for everything you’re doing in overseeing our emergency response. We thanked the President and Vice President for the boots on the ground and the cooperation. We also reiterated that we continue to have outstanding needs in personal protective equipment. We put a big ask in. We’ve gotten a fraction of that. We are not sitting on our hands. We are aggressively going out and trying. Judy will go through some of this sourcing other avenues to get that PPE but there’s nothing like getting a big big slug out of the federal stockpile.
Phil Murphy: (04:54)
Josh has been helpful with his colleagues on that front, as well. And then, we reiterated that we’re going to need the direct cash assistance that I referred to. That was a constructive conversation. We’re still not there yet, but it was a constructive one. We had a very good meeting face-to-face in Trenton at The Rock, hosted by Colonel Callahan with the Army Corps of Engineers. And Judy and Chris and Pat went through how we see the need for more beds. Again, remember the two in addition to testing, which we’ll come to in a minute and caring for the sick and those in need, which are two big initiatives, there are two other ones, the hip bone connected to the thigh bone. One is to flatten the curve through aggressive social distancing, and we’re going to tighten the screws further.
Phil Murphy: (05:45)
You should expect to hear more on that by probably tomorrow morning. We’re going to continue to tighten the screws over here so we relieve the pressure over here, but we can’t rely on the timing of this, so we must buy an insurance policy over here and that is to find a way to reactivate or activate many hundreds more of critical care beds and units. So, the Army Corps is particularly valuable. Judy will give you a quick sense of how that process is going. We had a good call last night with the White House Chief of Staff, Mark Meadows, who himself is new to the seat and a former colleague of Josh’s, and himself getting over, I think, self-isolation.
Phil Murphy: (06:29)
He said he’s in good shape physically. We reiterated with Mark our specific asks that we’d been making of the federal government. We had a good call earlier today with the Secretary of Defense, Dr. Mark Esper, and that actually was a good conversation, as well, reiterating … We may get a little boring here for you, but we’re consistent. Our asks are pretty much every time out, more PPE to protect our extraordinary healthcare workers, the heroes, our first responders. Secondly, the boots on the ground as FEMA Region II has showed this week with extraordinary support. The Army Corps, potentially the VA, other actual tangible sources.
Phil Murphy: (07:20)
We mentioned with Dr. Esper the possibility to get some medical personnel from the Defense Department, and then the third piece again, as I said, we’re going to need a bigger boat and we need a lot more money to allow us to continue to do what we’re doing. Again, I repeat New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut alone, we think direct cash assistance in the order of $100 billion dollars. I’ve also, as I mentioned, had a long conversation with Governor Cuomo today. We’ve been back and forth with both them personally as well as their teams with Governors Lamont, Wolf and Carney, among others. I’m scheduled to speak later today with some other governors who are doing great work on both sides of the aisle. Charlie Baker in Massachusetts, Jay Inslee in Washington, so the comparing of best practices, comparing notes, et cetera continues to be a source of great strength for all of us.
Phil Murphy: (08:21)
A few minutes ago, Tammy and I … The First Lady is here. Nice to have you with us. This is the closest I’ve been to her in weeks. A few minutes ago, I had the opportunity to check in on the drive-thru testing operation that began this morning here on campus. This is an important step for us for dramatically ramping up our testing capabilities, and I just want to say they deserve the victory lap and the credit, but you’re going to hear that we tested today 600 people successfully, which was beyond our wildest dreams. Judy and Chris and the Bergen County folks and the Paramus folks and the folks under Jared’s watch, and I know Josh was deeply involved in this. And then, of course the back end testing. These guys to my far left are going to be the ones who will then take these swabs and go in and test them.
Phil Murphy: (09:15)
But, just a Herculean … Not without bumps in the road. As we said, we’ve never done this before and to say that we’ve sped up demand would be the understatement of the century, but considering all that I don’t think in our wildest dreams, guys, we thought you’d test 600 people. Again, just to repeat. We understand and appreciate the tremendous anxiety that so many residents feel. We know that from the hotline phone calls and messages we’ve received through email and social media, that access to testing has been an overriding concern of residents, but I must reiterate, and please again allow me to say this, not everyone should hop in their car and come here to be tested.
Phil Murphy: (09:56)
Individuals must be current New Jersey residents. You have to show your own identification, and you’ve got to be showing some symptoms of resp …
Phil Murphy: (10:03)
… Identification and you’ve got to be showing some symptoms of respiratory illness. If you are feeling perfectly healthy if you are among the so-called worried well, there is at this time no need for you to get tested. Let’s ensure that our resources are available first and foremost to those who are at greatest risk.
Phil Murphy: (10:21)
And again, I must thank all of the medical personnel who are taking samples and working to ease people’s anxiety. To members of the Department of Health’s Emergency Management and EMS staff, the state police, the New Jersey National Guard, I want to give them a big shout out who are keeping the public safe and to the team from FEMA for their partnership in setting up this testing site as I mentioned, to our Bergen County brothers and sisters, our Paramus brothers and sisters, to each and every one of you, thank you.
Phil Murphy: (10:50)
Today, a trip of the numbers, we learned… I should say one of the thing. Testing… Chris, am I okay to say this? Testing on tomorrow morning eight o’clock right here again. And you all will go until you get to 350 tests. Is that correct?
Speaker 1: (11:04)
Phil Murphy: (11:05)
Right? So we’ll open up for business again tomorrow morning. Again, bring an ID and you must be symptomatic and/or have a medical permission slip as it were. We will, in addition to this, open up the second FEMA site on Monday. As we have mentioned to y’all already to preview this, it’s at the PNC Bank Arts Center, the parking lot, which is in and around the exit 116 of the Garden State Parkway in Holmdel. It’ll be Monday, March 23rd unless you hear on social media otherwise. It will be at 8:00 AM. We will have, according to [Mahan? 00:01:49], a website link up soon but not yet. And Mahan tells me, “Do not visit PNC today or over the weekend. We need time to set up the site.” Did I get that right?
Phil Murphy: (12:00)
So, Bergen County tomorrow right here on campus at 8:00 AM and we’ll go up until 350 tests. And then I think you’ll be back at it, as we promised seven days a week, so they’ll be back at it on Sunday. And then we will be up and running unless you hear otherwise at 8:00 AM at the PNC Bank Arts Center parking lot in Holmdel, New Jersey in our home county of Monmouth Monday morning, March 23rd, 8:00 AM.
Phil Murphy: (12:27)
Today we learned of 155 additional positive tests. That brings our statewide total to 890. We have sadly learned of two additional deaths as well. God rest their souls. Those families are in our prayers. That brings our total fatalities to 11. Judy will go through each of to give some color on the positive tests as well as the fatalities. And, again, God rest their souls.
Phil Murphy: (12:57)
I think we think just because of the timing and the batching and the commercial lab leadership can address this, our gut tells us that the 155 is light relative to what we will have learned by the end of the day. And the extent to which we learn, anything that is meaningful on that front will come at you in some sort of a paper release. Otherwise, we’ll be doing what we have been doing. We’ll have press availabilities both tomorrow and Sunday.
Phil Murphy: (13:26)
I mentioned earlier that we are almost certainly going to tighten the screws on social distancing. If we do that, it’s likely tomorrow effective for tomorrow night. And if we in turn do that, I think we will probably have an in-person gathering up North here somewhere tomorrow to go through exactly what we’re doing. So bear with us on that front.
Phil Murphy: (13:52)
The number, again, remember everybody, the number of positive tests is rising in part because, in fact in large part, because of expanding capabilities from private labs and we’ll hear from some of them. We expected these numbers and we expect them to keep rising in the short term as greater testing capabilities such as the drive-through site here at Bergen County College come online.
Phil Murphy: (14:16)
And, again, you’ve got the combination, and Judy and team can get into this in more detail, you’ve got an obvious combination. You’ve got some amount of community spread and you’ve got an explosion of the testing regime. The numbers are going up. The numbers will go into the many thousands. We’ve been predicting that for some time. Just remember that.
Phil Murphy: (14:36)
And this is not necessarily on its surface a bad thing. The more information we have, the better we will be able to respond to this crisis. So as we slowly but surely catch up with the testing, and again, I can’t thank our partners enough who are with us on the dais today, including the Department of Health in addition to the private sector players, the numbers are going up. Just know that. But again, that gives us also some ability to even better and more proactively manage the challenge.
Phil Murphy: (15:05)
Earlier today I signed legislation that builds on the steps that we’ve already taken to ensure that all coronavirus testing will be done free of any insurance copays to those being tested. And I thank again the legislature for their action. Both sides of the aisle, beginning with the leadership, beginning with the Senate President and Speaker, I can’t thank them enough.
Phil Murphy: (15:26)
Also, we are ensuring that anyone without insurance does not have to pay for a test. Cost will not be a barrier for anyone. Again, expanding testing is absolutely critical for a couple of reasons. First, of course, people may be exhibiting signs of COVID-19 or who may have been exposed in any way to a known case need to be tested. So clearly there is a need. Increasing our ability to get these residents tested is critical to saving lives.
Phil Murphy: (15:56)
Second, as I mentioned, the more testing we implement, the better we will be able to track the scope of the spread of coronavirus, which will allow us to take even more focused action to flatten the curve and mitigate further spread. The data the testing provides us, rather, is critical to our response.
Phil Murphy: (16:16)
And today, I want to again thank the gentlemen who are with us today. I am very pleased to announce that in partnership with both BioReference and LabCorp, we will be able to greatly increase our daily statewide testing capacity. And I’m equally proud that these are both New Jersey companies. I’ll ask John and Bill to speak to their individual efforts in a few minutes. But make no mistake, this is a game changer in our overall efforts. Lab capacity is no longer an issue in New Jersey as it is nationwide. Our focus can now move to increasing specimen collection statewide. This greatly moves us forward. And again, to repeat an obvious point, as a nonmedical expert, we too often talk about testing and conflate what is in fact a front end and a backend process. The collection of the specimen, the testing in the lab at the back end.
Phil Murphy: (17:11)
Additionally, the state Public Health and Environmental Lab, and Dr. [Kieran 00:00:17:17], thank you for being here, is getting the equipment it needs to increase its capabilities up to 1000 tests a day. It is also developing test kit components to relieve shortages elsewhere throughout our system. So again, to both John and Bill, I thank you for your partnership and willingness to step up at this time. And, in fact, I extend these thanks to all of our private sector partners. We cannot thank you and the women and men in your operations enough.
Phil Murphy: (17:44)
Throughout the state, additional testing facilities are coming online. As they do, they will be announced publicly. But again, we urge those who feel healthy to take a step back and allow those either exhibiting symptoms or those who are most at risk to go to the head of the lines. Separately, under legislation I have signed, the Attorney General’s office through the Division of Consumer Affairs has temporarily waived restrictions to allow healthcare professionals licensed elsewhere to assist in our efforts here in New Jersey, especially in the area, and not limited to, but especially in the area of telehealth. For some, that means doctors licensed in other states being able to provide telehealth services to our residents and in accordance with the bill I signed, which I mentioned earlier, all copays for telehealth are also being waived.
Phil Murphy: (18:35)
It also means that we can have the healthcare staff of the New Jersey National Guard step into directly assist us as well. And again, I want to give General Beale a huge shout out to him and the men and women of the Guard.
Phil Murphy: (18:47)
Finally, we continue to pursue every avenue to bring more personal protective gear into our state to backfill the normal supply chains. The state is working with the federal government to secure more for the Strategic National Stockpile and we have placed significant orders ourselves and we are working with private industry. And again, I want to give private industry a big shout out. I’ve mentioned a couple of the players who have stepped up earlier in the week. To that end, I’m proud to announce that Home Depot will be donating a significant number of N95 masks for our public health workers’ needs. We are extremely grateful to them.
Phil Murphy: (19:25)
All of these actions, greater testing and more medical personnel on the ground, will significantly improve our response capabilities going forward. And again, I want to reiterate, as testing expands, the number of positive cases will grow significantly. This is not, and it will not be a surprise. And I urge residents to not let these numbers increase the anxiety they already feel. I know it may seem counterintuitive. In fact, the more folks we test, the better we are able to reduce the anxiety. This information is vital to us, to our-
Phil Murphy: (20:03)
…. Eddie. This information is vital to us in our abilities to flatten the curve. It is critical for us to do the things we need to do to keep more residents safe. Leave the anxiety and the worrying to us up here at the table and our colleagues. Keep doing the smart things to protect your families. The basic stuff, washing with soap and water, don’t touch your face, cough and sneeze into your sleeve, stay home. Frankly, everybody should be staying home at this point, but we’ve been saying all along, if you don’t feel well, stay home. Keep the social distancing, do not gather underground.
Phil Murphy: (20:36)
Again, we’re going to… It brings me no joy, but we have no choice. We will within the next 24 hours, further tighten the screws in terms of the social distancing. We have no choice. It is absolutely proven to be the best way we can get out ahead of this virus and crack the back of it.
Phil Murphy: (20:53)
If you are not needed as part of our response efforts, stay home and again, practice social distancing. Do all the hand hygiene and safe respiratory hygiene that we’ve talked about.
Phil Murphy: (21:08)
We are going to get through this. I say that unequivocally and we’re going to get through it together. Again, not unscathed, not without mistakes or bumps in the road, but let there be no doubt, we will get through this together. It requires each one of the 9 million of us. The group of us up here and everybody around this state to do their share, to do their part.
Phil Murphy: (21:30)
Again, I would have a particular plea to beg you all for social distancing, particularly for our young people. Again, look at the pictures of the beach in Destin, Florida or South Beach. Folks who behave as though they’re invincible.
Phil Murphy: (21:47)
First of all, the data is beginning to prove that young people may be a little bit more impacted by this than we had hoped. Secondly, more immediately, and we’ve said this before, you may unwittingly carry that virus and infect a member of a generation which is much more likely to suffer the more grave consequences of this virus. We can’t allow that to happen.
Phil Murphy: (22:09)
I had a terrific call with the Attorney General and Colonel Callahan with chiefs, police chiefs, first responders, fire, union leadership, law enforcement up and down the state. I said, “Thank you from the bottom of my heart for everything they do.”
Phil Murphy: (22:26)
Secondly, social distancing is job number one and we’re going to tighten the screws further. Thirdly, enforcing those measures is a huge part of making this social distancing and flattening of the curve a reality.
Phil Murphy: (22:45)
I want to close with a word to all of the New Jerseyans who are out there every day doing the jobs necessary to our response. From our extraordinary public health and safety personnel. To our grocery store workers. To the folks at motor vehicles making sure that our trucking industry can keep supplies rolling. To the childcare workers looking after the kids, of all of the above, and to everyone else on the front lines with us. We need you in this more than ever before.
Phil Murphy: (23:15)
You are doing the work that is mission critical to our state’s response and recovery. We are going to come out of this together stronger than ever before. God bless you all and thank you from the bottom of my heart. With that, please help me welcome the commissioner of the department of health, Judy Persichilli.
Judy Persichilli: (23:34)
Thank you governor. Good afternoon. Yesterday I spoke about steps we’ve taken to protect our most vulnerable populations, our residents in our longterm care facilities. Today we’re putting in place another measure to protect our older adults. Today we are halting adult day healthcare centers in all of our counties.
Judy Persichilli: (23:59)
For those who are not familiar with the service. Adult daycare is a program that provides social health and personal care services to older adults who need supervision during the day. The halting of adult medical daycare is necessary to protect residents from serious and life threatening risk of contracting COVID-19. It is also another measure to mitigate the spread of this illness.
Judy Persichilli: (24:26)
Earlier in the week, we closed the services in Bergen, Middlesex, and Monmouth because of the large numbers of confirmed COVID cases in those counties. With increasing cases across the state, we felt it was another important step to make.
Judy Persichilli: (24:44)
The CDC data has demonstrated the increased risk of serious complications and death for those over 65. In the United States, 80% of the deaths are among this population and the highest percentage of severe outcomes are among persons aged 85 and older. That is why it’s critical that we place these restrictions on programs and services targeted for this population.
Judy Persichilli: (25:14)
All residents however, need to take steps to protect not only their health, but also the health of their loved ones. Stay home as much as possible. Practice good health habits. We keep repeating, wash your hands, practice good respiratory etiquette, social distancing. It’s vital to slowing the spread of COVID-19. We must all take this seriously.
Judy Persichilli: (25:41)
As the governor said, I’m sure you’ve all seen the coverage, excuse me, of young people at the beaches enjoying spring break. It’s vital that our younger individuals take this illness seriously. You may not feel sick, but it’s possible that you could transmit COVID-19 to someone who is more vulnerable.
Judy Persichilli: (26:04)
We are definitely all in this together and we must take these steps together. As the governor said, today we’re announcing 155 new cases for a total of 890 cases in the state. Sadly, today we are reporting two more deaths. One is a male in his 30s, in his 30s, from Essex County. The other is a male in his 50s from Bergen County. We have 11 deaths in our state. Nine of those individuals have had comorbid conditions, two are still under investigation. Seven are male, four are females. Four are associated with a longterm care facility in our state.
Judy Persichilli: (26:56)
We’re thinking of the families of each and every one of the individuals during this difficult time. Our thoughts and prayers are certainly with all of the families that are dealing with this. The county breakdown of the new cases are thus: Bergen 48, Burlington two, Essex eight, Hudson nine 102, Mercer three, Middlesex 11, Monmouth 10, Maurice four, Ocean 15, Passaic 12, Somerset four, Sussex one, and Union nine. There are 17 cases. We’re still gathering more information on.
Judy Persichilli: (27:38)
As I’ve said, we will see more cases in the coming weeks, a lot more cases. As we see more cases, especially among nursing home residents, and those with underlying medical conditions, the stresses on our healthcare system will build exponentially. I’m very concerned about that and that’s why we’re continuing to explore unused space in hospitals and longterm care facilities and to look at standing up new hospitals.
Judy Persichilli: (28:07)
I want to make it clear. We expect increases in cases. We expect a surge in cases that will stress the healthcare system significantly. This morning with the Army Corps we did a walkthrough of a hospital in Woodbury Inspira, and I’m pleased to report that they have assessed that hospital to be up and ready right after we do a thorough cleaning and decontamination. The physical plant is in very good shape. So we do expect that that hospital will be ready to go and be on standby within three weeks, three to four weeks, four weeks the longest.
Phil Murphy: (28:50)
How many beds again?
Judy Persichilli: (28:51)
300, 300. We are also looking at a facility that used to be a hospital in Plainfield, New Jersey. It is now over a 100,000 square feet of gutted interior, 48,000 square feet per floor, and the core, we’ll be looking at that tomorrow. We expect that we can bring that up. That’ll be fitted out and we could bring that up in another four to five weeks.
Judy Persichilli: (29:20)
That will give us probably another 200 beds. So we’ll have 500 beds of capacity, unused, and ready to go when the surge occurs. Notice I didn’t say if the surge occurs. We don’t know exactly where the peak of that bell shaped curve is, but we know it will happen.
Judy Persichilli: (29:40)
We’re doing some predictive modeling right now to determine other areas in the state where we have to be prepared for critical care beds and additional medical surgical inpatient acute care capacity. We’re also looking at closed wings at hospitals. There will be a completely review. We have about seven or eight that have come forth, and in addition-
Judy Persichilli: (30:03)
… we have about seven or eight that have come forth, and in addition to the closed wings, which we’ll be able to bring up fairly quickly, we are looking at bolt-on wings that the corps would build on the campuses of some existing hospitals. We’re not only focusing in on the northeast, we are somewhat concerned of capacity in the southern part of the state even though the population is much smaller. We have fewer hospitals, and as a result, we need to be able to get capacity to handle any surge in the cities in the south.
Judy Persichilli: (30:40)
As you know, today, Bergen County test site opened. I want to give a shout out to the volunteers and primarily the healthcare workers, the nurses that came together and put that site up in very short notice. It’s not an easy task. Chris Neuwirth from Department of Health and the Colonel did a yeoman’s job, and it worked. People got tested. Over 600 people got tested, and it will continue until there’s no other people to test. Hopefully, that will come sooner than later.
Judy Persichilli: (31:18)
Just a reminder, if you have mild symptoms, stay home and self-isolate. Separate yourself from other people in your home, avoid sharing household items like dishes, utensils, and towels, and if your symptoms worsen, seek medical care, but call first. These steps can help protect you and your family from the spread of COVID-19. Thank you.
Phil Murphy: (31:42)
Judy, thank you for everything in your leadership. Two comments, and a question. First, the question. The two fatalities from yesterday, did they have adjacent health issues? I know you said 9 of the 11. Does that include the two from yesterday?
Judy Persichilli: (31:56)
Yeah, one did, and one is still unknown. One is under review, but what we are finding is that most of the individuals, no matter the age… and I’m going to give a shout-out for general health here. Diabetes is, and almost every single individual, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, obesity, so please, that’s a shout-out for taking care of yourself generally.
Phil Murphy: (32:22)
Yeah, I mean, this is a point I was going to make. It’s 9 out of 11. Is it going to stay at that hit rate in terms of, God willing, the number doesn’t, the denominator doesn’t go up a whole lot more? My fear is that it will go up for sure, but that’s the point I was going to make. There’s an adjacency in an overwhelmingly high percentage of this.
Phil Murphy: (32:43)
Two quick comments. One is, if my math is right, one of the unknowns is now in Cumberland County, meaning Salem County is now the only of our 21 counties that doesn’t have a confirmed case. Judy is still working through 94 unknown, so there’s a chance one of them is from Salem. That’s just to give you a sense, while the numbers are the biggest, by far, in Bergen, and the north is more impacted right now than the south, we take the entirety of the state deadly seriously. When you look at in particular, as Judy mentioned, hospitals per capita, we’re exposed more than we’d like in the south.
Phil Murphy: (33:21)
My other comment is I haven’t had a chance to look at it, but I believe this is true that this is a bunch of information if folks need to know where to text or know where to call. Am I right? Make sure folks commit this to memory because these are the best places to go for information.
Phil Murphy: (33:38)
Judy, I can’t thank you enough to you and your team. I’m sure we’ll hear from you during questions. It’s now my honor to introduce the guy who runs this county. Again, this county right now has 249 confirmed cases, and that’s almost certainly understating meaningfully the reality. I can’t thank you. He’s a dear friend. He’s a terrific leader. Please help me welcome the County Executive Jim Tedesco.
Jim Tedesco: (34:04)
I sit here today to have to say my thoughts and prayers to our fourth Bergen County family member that isn’t with us today, and it’s close to home for me. Governor, I can’t thank you enough for coming here today to be with us, and I can’t thank you enough for getting the FEMA test site here in Bergen County where we are feeling the pain and the suffering of this deadly virus. Governor, I have a tool belt on and screwdrivers in my tool belt to screw down and making sure that people stay home. I’m here to be with you. I’m here to work with you. I’ll give you all the screwdrivers you need to keep turning that screw down.
Jim Tedesco: (34:58)
I want to thank the New Jersey Department of Health. Commissioner Chris, your staff have been outstanding in helping us through this and even helping us get this site up and running. I can’t thank you enough. To the members of FEMA, thank you for being here. Thank you for putting boots on the ground to help us here where it’s needed the most. To the Colonel, thank you so much. Thank you for the National Guard. Thank you for having your folks here helping us. Truly appreciate it, Colonel. To the other Colonel, Superintendent, and the New Jersey State Police, I’ve known Colonel Callahan for some time, and I can’t thank him enough for having the support and the folks here to help us-
Speaker 2: (36:50)