Sep 18, 2020

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy Press Conference Transcript September 18

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy Press Conference Transcript September 18
RevBlogTranscriptsCOVID-19 Briefing & Press Conference TranscriptsNew Jersey Governor Phil Murphy Press Conference Transcript September 18

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy held a press conference on September 18 to discuss coronavirus updates. He announced the reinstatement of the millionaires tax “to provide us the resources to invest more deeply and meaningfully in our communities and common future, while at the same time, providing direct tax relief of up to $500 to nearly 800,000 New Jersey middle-class and working families.” Read the full transcript of his news briefing speech here.

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Governor Phil Murphy: (00:00)
All of our middle class families and those as I was growing up striving and looking up to join the middle class. And that is why yesterday in this very room, folks asked me a fair amount of the row, what does this room look like? That is the room yesterday, configured not with the table, but with a podium, but largely from the reporters and the camera’s lens, pretty consistent with what it looks like every day. We have lighter attendance today, but that is what it looks like.

Governor Phil Murphy: (00:28)
So yesterday, and this photo is emblematic of that, I was proud to stand right here with Lieutenant Governor Sheila Oliver, Senate President Steve Sweeney, Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin, and the Budget Committee Chairs, Senator Paul Sarlo and Assembly Woman Eliana Pintor Marin, to announce our agreement to reinstate the Millionaires Tax to provide us the resources to invest more deeply and meaningfully in our communities and common future, while at the same time, providing direct tax relief of up to $500 to nearly 800,000 New Jersey middle-class and working families. This is up to $500 that our families need and that they deserve. And through the millionaires tax, we are restoring the principle of fairness to our tax code. No middle class families should pay a higher percentage of their income in taxes than the wealthiest among us and now we’re in a position to greatly reduce, if not eliminate, that disparity. While these two advances aren’t directly related to each other, they are both critical parts of the stronger and fairer New Jersey we need to be. They are about our future and investing in a shared vision where every community has equal access to opportunity. On both counts, I want to reiterate my thanks to our legislative partners and colleagues for their exceptional collaboration.

Governor Phil Murphy: (01:56)
Now, moving on and switching gears again, we put the eye chart up Judy, that we put up every Friday. Let’s take a look at the latest statistics from our Community Contact Tracing Corps. Over the past week, we added an additional 29 contact tracers to our team for an updated total of 1,864 tracers currently on the ground and working. Statewide, we are now at 21 contact tracers for every 100,000 residents, and Passaic and Salem counties have already met our second benchmark of having 30 contact tracers for every 100,000 of their residents. In Cape May, where I was happily yesterday, Cumberland and Mercer are at or above 25 per 100,000.

Governor Phil Murphy: (02:42)
This past week we did see a downtick in the percentage of contacts who refused to cooperate with our contact tracers. And while more than half of those our contact tracers get in touch with still refuse to work with them, this is at the least an encouraging sign after the past several weeks. And more than half of all new cases are being followed up within the first 24 hours. So let’s continue to move these numbers in the right direction. If a contact tracer reaches out to you, please take that call for the sake of your health, your family’s health, and for our ability, collectively all of us to defeat this virus.

Governor Phil Murphy: (03:22)
Next, switching gears again, I want to give a quick update on our progress in ensuring every New Jerseyan is counted in the 2020 Census. The other day, we noted that we have exceeded the self response rate of the 1990, the 2000 and the 2010 censuses and that more than 94% of all New Jerseyans have now been counted. But what’s really exciting is how broad the cooperation has been across our state. Of our 21 counties, 13 have already exceeded their response rate for 2010. Another four are within 1% or less of their 2010 self response number and two of the remaining four are within 2%.

Governor Phil Murphy: (04:06)
There are only 12 days left until the end of counting and we are pushing to see every county be where they were 10 years ago. Across the state, there are literally hundreds of census events planned between today and September 30th to make sure everyone fulfills their civic responsibility to be counted. To find an event near you, go to that website, census.nj. gov. And in 2010, we know we were under counted because we’ve left literally billions of dollars behind in federal aid for our schools, for healthcare, our roads, mass transit, even frankly, as Judy and Tina know as well as I, even for our COVID-19 response. This year’s census is especially critical as we fight to ensure that we are properly represented in Congress and another under count could mean we lose another representative as we did after 2010. And we can’t bear that.

Governor Phil Murphy: (05:07)
And finally, if you have not yet responded, that’s the place you go, and get counted. It’s fast, it’s safe and secure. It’s really important. We’ve got 12 days to go.

Governor Phil Murphy: (05:25)
With that Judy, let’s turn to the overnight numbers, if that’s all right. We’re reporting another 519 positive test results. That’s a cumulative total of 198,848. Yesterday, it’ll stay there, go back if you could, just to say, there we are, Judy, that number yesterday was over 600, 617. So you got back to back days where we have clocked some big numbers. Now, we’ll get to the positivity rate in a minute.

Governor Phil Murphy: (05:54)
We test a lot of people in New Jersey and that’s a good thing, but I know there are some areas in particular that you’re focused on and you’ll get into in a little bit more detail. The rate of positivity, as I mentioned, for all tests conducted, this would have been as of Monday was 2.19%. So that’s a little bit better than it was yesterday. I would still love to see that number get as close to zero as we can. Statewide rate of transmission is around 1.08. It’s been bouncing in the 1.05 to 1.1 range. Judy, I think you think, I don’t want to put words in your mouth, but with the big number of positives, that’s bound as we look back say a few days from now, that number’s bound to go up a little bit. So we want to get that, if we can folks, under 1%.

Governor Phil Murphy: (06:39)
In our hospitals, combination of 221 known COVID positive patients and another 192 persons under investigation awaiting test results. That’s a total of 413. 73 of whom were requiring intensive care. 36 required a ventilator. And sadly, we are reporting five additional deaths today bringing the total for the state cumulatively to 14,270 lost lives. The number of probable deaths, Tina remains at 1,791. All of the deaths … so the five we’re reporting today are actually from the past five days. Two are from September 15th, one each from the 13th, 14th, and 16th. And again, at the risk of comparing apples to oranges, as we say every time we refer to this, our hospitals reported seven deaths yesterday. Again, they are not included in these confirmed numbers, but we want to give you some sense of what the spot reality looks like.

Governor Phil Murphy: (07:39)
So as we do every day, let’s take a couple of minutes to remember three more of the blessed of New Jersey souls we have lost over the past six months. Today, we begin and I don’t use the word legend lightly, but this guy by all accounts was a legend. We remember a West Orange guy through and through, the legend Joseph, Joe Suriano, who was a long time English teacher and track coach at West Orange High.

Governor Phil Murphy: (08:06)
That he ended up there is no mystery. Joe was a West Orange native, a state high school track champion in the 100 meters and an all American in college. He started his teaching career at West Orange High in 1969, and would remain a fixture there for a few years. 46, in fact, retiring in January of 2016. For his commitment to his students, he was named Teacher Of the Year, not once or twice, but three times. And as a coach, his West Orange Mountaineers track and field teams won a total of seven league championships and he earned All Area Coach of the Year honors an amazing 16 times. League Coach of the Year, eight times. Twice recognized as Essex County Coach of the Year. He coached five athletes who would go on to garner All American status and three who met Olympic qualifying standards. For all of this, there is little wonder that the track …

Governor Phil Murphy: (09:03)
Standards. For all of this, there is little wonder that the track and football field at West Orange High was dedicated as Suriano Stadium in his honor. His legacy will also live on through the Suriano Family Scholarship. When he retired, one of his colleagues said Joe was and I quote him “a rich man in every way it matters”. For Joe, even more than his students, that wealth was measured in his love for his family. He leaves behind his wife of 50 years, Marlene and their two daughters Stephanie and Nicole and I had the enormous honor on Wednesday of speaking with all three of them. My wife Tammy had sent Marlene and Nicole a note right after Joe passed a few months ago and it was an honor for me to speak with all three. He also leaves his son-in-law who is Nicole’s husband Joseph and he also leaves two granddaughters Avery and [Dillon 00:09:56]. He also leaves many other extended family members, friends and of course thousands of grateful students and student athletes. Joe was 73 years old. Thank you Joe for your years of dedication to the youth of West Orange. You made your hometown and all of us in this state very proud. May God bless and watch over you.

Governor Phil Murphy: (10:19)
Next up we recall Antoinette “Toni” Tosco who spent her entire life in Bridgewater in Somerset County. Toni was 77 years old. Antoinette was a trained horticulturist turning a love of the outdoors that started with her membership in the Somerset County 4-H as a child into a lifelong vocation. She started her career at the lush Duke Botanical Gardens in Hillsborough before going on to serve more than 25 years with the Somerset County Park Commission, where she helped manage the 33-acre Buck Garden in Far Hills, considered not just one of the state’s but the nation’s finest gardens. Toni is survived by her sisters Rose Marie and Jean and I had the great honor of speaking with them and one of them made the point to me, Judy, that Toni, when it came time to either pick outdoor work at home or indoor making beds or doing dishes, Toni jumped at the outdoor opportunity leaving the rest of the stuff for her two sisters. She’s also survived by her nephew Dr. Anthony [Ratuck 00:11:28] and niece Colonel Nicole Ratuck Dobson who is a medical doctor along with her great nephews Michael and Ian and great nieces Dana, Destiny, and Claire. Toni spent her life making the world a beautiful place and giving us all a reason to slow down and to stop and enjoy nature. We thank her for sharing her gift and may God bless her and her family.

Governor Phil Murphy: (11:54)
Finally for this week, we remember this guy, South Tom River’s Rocco Sanfilippo, who we lost at the age of 69. He was born in Tunis, Tunisia in Northern Africa but came to New Jersey as a child and was a graduate of Toms River High School South. Rocco actually had two careers, the first as a chemical operator with Ecolab and the second as the owner of Rocco’s Bella Vita Pizza in Toms River. Outside of work however, family and friends will remember the avid fisherman and crabber who loved to spend his time in his home kitchen, the bowler with a perfect 300 game to his credit who coached youth bowlers at Thunder Bowl in Bayville and the man who generously gave his time as a baseball and softball coach with the Berkeley Little League. Rocco leaves behind his mother Carmela and I had a really emotional conversation with her as you can imagine, his wife of 47 years Mary and again I had the great honor of speaking with her and his daughter Pam and I again had the great … She’s in Green Brook and I had the great honor speaking with her on Wednesday. Also Pam’s wife Kara, son Joe who lives in Jersey City and his husband Michael, his uncle Sal and many nieces, nephews, cousins, and godchildren. Rocco spent his life doing what he loved with the people he loved. May all have that same ability.

Governor Phil Murphy: (13:25)
May God bless you and watch over you, Rocco and may God bless and watch over everyone who we have lost and their surviving families and friends.

Governor Phil Murphy: (13:35)
Next I want to give a quick shout-out to another of the small business leaders working hard to make sure our tomorrow is stronger than our today, and today we’re recognizing Sonya Schefer, the owner and operator of the Newark-based wholesale vegetable distributor M. Bross Inc. M. Bross has been in business supplying supermarkets up and down the Eastern Seaboard since the 1950s and built its longevity on a reputation for integrity and dedication to quality. Their specialties, potatoes and onions. If it’s potatoes and onions you need, that’s the place you go, Judy, but when the pandemic hit and with supermarket partners in particular still relying on her, Sonya needed a helping hand. She found it through the New Jersey Economic Development Authority and was able to qualify for a 10,000 grant that allowed her to provide personal protective equipment to her employees, purchase extra industrial cleaning supplies to keep her business safe, and to make sure other necessary expenses were covered. Now with her largest retail customer Wake Fern Corporation scaling back up, Sonya and the M. Bross team are ready to keep going.

Governor Phil Murphy: (14:44)
I had the honor of checking in with Sonya who by the way in the midst of all this has a son Dalton who turned age one in the middle of this crazy past six months, but I wished her all the best for her future and to thank her for keeping M. Bross’s legacy going strong in Newark, New Jersey.

Governor Phil Murphy: (15:04)
Before I close, I want to go to Delran to extend some very special birthday wishes. This is Donald Shaffer. He is a World War II veteran, a retired construction worker, and known by many as Poppy. He has also lived by himself since his wife passed a decade ago. So this week is Donald’s 95th birthday, but because of the current situation he is not able to gather with his family and his family is his daughter, two granddaughters and five great-grandchildren as they had originally hoped and planned, but we’re not going to let this pandemic get in the way of making sure he is celebrated. So to you Donald, from the First Lady and me, and all of us here, we wish you nothing but the happiest of birthdays and many, many more. Thank you for being a treasured part of our New Jersey family and thank you for your service to our great nation.

Governor Phil Murphy: (15:56)
Finally, to all the members and brothers and sisters of our Jewish community preparing to celebrate Rosh Hashanah and the new year Shanah Tovah. May this be a sweet year of good health for you and your family and may I plead, if you are worshiping this weekend and celebrating and observing the new year, please do so responsibly. Please, please, please, and again, Shanah Tovah. With that, I’ll turn things over to the woman who needs no introduction, the Commissioner of the Department of Health, Judy Persichilli.

Judy Persichilli: (16:29)
Thank you Governor and good afternoon. As the governor noted we continue to see a rise in cases, some linked to gatherings, some linked to celebratory gatherings like parties and some linked to solemn gatherings as in funerals. No matter the reason, this increase in cases reminds us that this virus is unrelenting. It treats everyone the same. We are fighting an invisible enemy and we must continue to be cognizant of that fact and we must continue to be vigilant to protect ourselves and our loved ones. In particular, we have seen very large increases in cases in Ocean and Monmouth Counties. Over the past week ending yesterday so not counting the cases we shared with you today, Ocean and Monmouth County reported 736 new cases. On Thursday the number of cases reported in Ocean County was 112, the most cases of any county in the state. Today the number of cases reported is 93, again the highest in the state. To assist Ocean County’s investigation efforts, we are boosting their resources with four redeployed contact tracers to help investigate this large number of new cases.

Judy Persichilli: (17:58)
In Monmouth County, yesterday we received reports of 83 new cases and today –

Judy Persichilli: (18:03)
Yesterday, we received reports of 83 new cases, and today another 51 new cases, the second highest in the state. Of the cases in the state that we reported yesterday, young adults and adolescents represented the largest percentages, about 27% of these new cases were among 20 to 29 year old residents, and about 17% are among 10 to 19 year olds. Today’s cases are following the same trend, with more than 33% of the new cases among 18 to 29 year olds. Case investigations are just beginning for these new reports. Public health investigators will interview each individual, ask where they have been, and who they have been in contact with. As the investigation progresses, we will learn more about their exposures, and if there is any common link among the cases. We can not let our guard down. We must keep up all public health measures that have allowed us to flatten the curve of COVID-19 in our state. Stay at least six feet apart. Wear a face covering. Wash hands often with soap and water, or for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry. Avoid touching your eyes, your nose, your mouth with unwashed hands, and please stay home if you are sick.

Judy Persichilli: (19:43)
Moving onto my daily report. As the governor shared, our hospital’s report 413 hospitalizations with 73 individuals in critical care and 49% of those individuals are on ventilators. Fortunately, there are no new reports of multi- system inflammatory syndrome in children. There are a total of 57 cases in our state.

Judy Persichilli: (20:07)
The governor reviewed the new cases and deaths. In terms of deaths, the breakdown by race and ethnicity is as follows: white 54.1%, black 18.3, Hispanic 20.3, Asian 5.5, and other 1.9. The state veterans homes, the numbers remain the same, as they do in the psychiatric hospitals. Our daily percent positivity as of September 14th is 2.19%. The North reports 1.66%. central New Jersey, 2.66%. in the Southern part of New Jersey, 2.65%. That concludes my daily updates. Stay safe and remember: for each other and for us all, please take the call. Thank you.

Governor Phil Murphy: (20:57)
I admit that just before you said don’t touch your eyes. I just touched my eyes. So I’m going to, right as I leave here, put some of the alcohol based fluid on. As I mentioned, Pat is not here for good reason, and we keep the team Callahan and the bride and groom in our prayers.

Governor Phil Murphy: (21:18)
Wanted to just say a couple of things. Pat said there was really no overnight compliance issue of note. Our forest fighters are still out there. Oh, thank you. Do this right now. Excuse me. Thank you very much.

Judy Persichilli: (21:37)
You’re welcome.

Governor Phil Murphy: (21:38)
Our forest fighters is still out in battling what is, I believe, 26 different fires on the West coast, 18,000 firefighters. And they are, so far so good, safe and sound, but we keep them in our prayers. Nothing new on the storm front, meteorologically. So that’s a good thing. And again, I’m doing my stand-in role playing the role of Colonel Pat Callahan. We’ll be virtual [inaudible 00:22:09] this weekend and we will be at one o’clock on Monday, unless you hear otherwise. There is a White House VTC, but it will be, at the moment, scheduled for after that. So unless you hear otherwise, we’ll be at one o’clock. Do you have any, sir? You’re good. Sir, you got anything? Please.

Speaker 1: (22:30)
112 new positive test results were reported on the COVID dashboard yesterday for Ocean County, the first time in weeks at any county has broken into triple digits. Does this qualify as an outbreak? And if so, do you know about the cause and hat is being done about it?

Governor Phil Murphy: (22:44)
Is that it? Yeah, I think Judy, you addressed this, but I think it’s worth repeating, because as you rightly point out, that’s a triple digit day and we haven’t had many of those for any county in a while. Please. Anything you want to add to that? I’m not used to having you on the left side. Apologize. I was looking at the right there.

Dr. Christina Tan: (23:06)
Yeah. We are certainly concerned about the increase in Ocean County and we’re in the process of working with the local health department to better characterize what’s been going on. But to reiterate what the commissioner has been saying, we’ve been finding some very common patterns with regard to why we’re seeing increases in cases, a lot associated with gatherings. It’s a point to raise that you can definitely gather socially, we’re coming up with holidays coming up as well. You can gather safely, and we just have to remember the same simple mantras that we’ve been saying this entire time about the social distancing, the masks, and the appropriate hand hygiene. And again, the other trends relate to the younger populations. And again we have to stress that continuous everyday preventive measures and the same measures that we’ve been saying this entire time.

Governor Phil Murphy: (24:04)
I hate to, Tina has said it well, I hate to beat this again and again, but you said it in your remarks, it’s the basic stuff. We don’t have therapeutics. We don’t have a vaccine. So what we’re left with is a very basic, but effective, set of parameters that if we live by, we’ll be okay. And again, particularly as it’s gotten cooler, it’s going to be cooler this weekend. People are going to be more likely to be indoors than out. We’ve got a religious holiday, obviously. So you’ve got probably a heavier worship reality this weekend, but socially distance, wearing the face masks, washing hands with soap and water or the disinfectant, which I just did, the basic stuff, Tina, we cannot get off of that.

Governor Phil Murphy: (24:46)
I would love nothing more than to be able to say, “We’re out of the woods. You don’t have to do any of that anymore.” It’s just not the case. And we’ve got to make sure that we don’t let our guard down and that’s well said, and that’s my personal, anything you want to add to that? We’ve said it all, I guess.

Governor Phil Murphy: (25:01)
Thank you. Brent?

Speaker 2: (25:07)
So while we are seeing cases rise, hospitalizations and death are clearly remaining relatively stable. Why is this, and is this at least a good sign out of all of this?

Speaker 2: (25:18)
Then three, Governor, on the new budget plan. The money for the new tax rebate is going out next summer just before you and the legislature are on the ballot, Republicans are already calling it in an election year gimmick. What is your response to that?

Speaker 2: (25:32)
The millionaires tax is bringing in 390 million next year and the rebate costs about 350 million according to sources, it can be criticized as a pretty transparent wealth transfer. Do you have a response to that?

Speaker 2: (25:43)
And there are plenty of folks with income below the threshold who don’t have children, or their children are grown, and they’re excluded from this new deal. What was the thinking behind having only people with dependents?

Governor Phil Murphy: (25:57)
So the first one, which I think is a really good, not that the other ones aren’t good, but the first one on the, is this a good sign? I would just say, I’ve got experts on either side of me, the system is working for the most part. The one hole in the system is we don’t have enough people answering the phone call on the contact tracing piece. But whether you’re looking at this through schools, through the lens of local health authorities, at the state level, the system feels to us as though it is working. That does not mean that there is not concern. That does not mean that every one of these outbreaks that we try to track, and Judy and Tina and their teams try to track, are not of enormous importance and significance.

Governor Phil Murphy: (26:46)
The positivity rate, I mentioned this earlier, being just a little bit over two, while it’s higher than we may like it’s among the lowest in the country. And so it does speak to the sheer capacity and volume of our testing reality-

Governor Phil Murphy: (27:03)
… the sheer capacity and volume of our testing reality in New Jersey. But I get concerned again as we migrate indoors. I worry that folks also begin to sort of take it for granted, for lack of a better phrase. And that concerns me. I’ll speak for myself. But Judy or Tina, anything you want to add? I guess Brent’s question is is the silver lining here real and is it worth it?

Judy Persichilli: (27:33)
I think we’re seeing a large percentage and younger individuals, so that might not correlate with the hospitalizations. We do alert pediatricians and hospitals to be concerned about multi-system inflammatory syndrome although those numbers are holding. The overall numbers and per hundred thousand are high and it is concerning. Tina?

Dr. Christina Tan: (27:59)
Yeah. Because, again, this kind of demonstrates the change at the epidemiology here in New Jersey, that we’re starting to see more younger individuals become infected. And we have to remind everybody that while it’s true that younger individuals are less likely to develop complications or more severe illness associated with COVID-19, the fact is that even though they themselves may be potentially be okay in terms of not having serious illness resulting in hospitalizations, they pose a risk to other individuals who might have underlying medical conditions, older individuals. Because we’re still seeing deaths. And the fact that we’re still seeing deaths and that we’re still seeing hospitalizations is still a cause of concern, even if they’re lower in number.

Governor Phil Murphy: (28:52)
Judy and Tina, it’s fair to say that we know light years more than we know about this than we knew six months ago. And so the medical community, not just in New Jersey, around the country and around the world, it’s a different reality than it was in March. And that’s largely a better reality. Not just our numbers are better, but there’s just an enormous amount of knowledge that’s been built up over that period of time. A couple of quick comments on the budget questions. And again, we’re still crossing the Ts and dotting the Is on the budget overall. So I’ll speak just specifically to what we announced yesterday. Anybody who gets that check will not view it as a gimmick. This is putting money into the backbone of our state, the middle class, and those who dream and aspire to get there.

Governor Phil Murphy: (29:42)
I’d say a couple of other things. I didn’t set the tax filing dates, when you get your refunds, right? So you have to file by April 15 in a normal year. We did not have a normal year this year, admittedly. And you’d get your refunds over the course of the summer. That’s not my schedule, that’s the schedule that has been in place forever and always. I would just say this. From the moment we started talking about tax fairness on the campaign, nevermind in prior budget addresses, in prior budget discussions, the notion has always been to ask those who can afford it the most to allow us to get the repeatable year in and year out revenue to make the investments that we need to make into the middle class. So it’s not just the up to $500. It’s funding schools. And still, I’m proud to say at record levels this year in a otherwise really, really, really tough budget. It’s funding healthcare, it’s funding housing, affordable housing, whatever it might be. That’s always been the mindset that has surrounded this.

Governor Phil Murphy: (30:52)
And as I said, it is not only about this rebate. That is a really important piece of this, but this allows us to make investments, whether it’s a direct payment to folks who need it the most, or whether it’s helping us fund K through 12, pre-K expansion, healthcare programs. It is going exactly to the uses that we need as a state. And as it relates to your last fair question is in addition to what I just said in all the programs that impact everybody in this state like education and healthcare, we have an enormous amount of investments into the folks who are living below the poverty line, who are up against it, whether it’s the environmental justice bill today, whether it’s the notion of baby bonds, whether it’s that healthcare premium that we have now taken the disproportionate amount to direct to folks who could not prior to this afford or access healthcare. This is one piece of a much broader mosaic of that stronger and fairer agenda.

Governor Phil Murphy: (32:16)
So thank you. With that. I’m going to mask up if that’s all right, folks. Judy, thank you, Tina, thank you as always. Again, we wish Matt, Matt Black is here. Matt, thank you. Jared, I mentioned. [inaudible 00:00:32:31]. We wish Pat Callahan the very best in absentia. I guess the plea I would close with is the one we sort of have been hitting today, right? Which is please don’t let your guard down. We’ve come an enormous distance in over the six months that we’ve been at this. Let’s keep up the diligence, keep up compliance, keep up. And it’s simple, basic stuff. It’s not complicated. The complicated part is the human nature element of it. Can we stay at it? Can we prove that not only did we get over the past six plus months to a place unlike any other American state, but that we can stay there and get even better? Especially as we begun to open up again.

Governor Phil Murphy: (33:20)
A lot of folks said, “Please try to open our gyms.” We did that. We want indoor dining. We’ve done that. We want to get back to school, have our kids enjoy that, at least in a hybrid format, what it feels to be back in person at school. We’ve done that. And so because we’ve been able to do that, we can’t just, as a result of that, feel like we’ve gotten through this. We have to stay at it. And again, particularly in this season. Particularly, again, shanah tova. We wish everyone in our Jewish community a blessed Rosh Hashanah. But there will be worshiping even at a higher level than normal. Please, folks, do that responsibly. With that, we’ll be with you virtually tomorrow and Sunday unless you hear otherwise. And otherwise, we’ll be back here in person at 1:00 on Monday. Many thanks.

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