New Jersey

Gov. Calls for Federal Money to Help in NJ's Coronavirus Fight as Cases Slow

New Jersey has reported the second most COVID-19 cases and the second-most deaths from coronavirus complications of any U.S. state but in recent days the numbers of new cases and spread have slowed

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What to Know

  • New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy and U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez, D-NJ, spoke about the need for more federal money to states trying to recover from the coronavirus pandemic.
  • New Jersey has reported nearly 140,000 COVID-19 cases and at least 9,310 deaths related to the new coronavirus as of Monday.
  • Despite the new cases and deaths, hospitalizations and the spread of the virus have been slowing, Murphy said.

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy is calling on the help of the federal government to send money to his state so that it can recover from the deadly novel coronavirus outbreak.

Sen. Bob Menendez, D-NJ, joined Murphy Monday to speak about the Democratic governor's efforts to get more federal money to states and for a national testing plan.

"A national emergency calls for a national response," Menendez said.

As of Monday, there were nearly 140,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases in New Jersey and at least 9,310 deaths attributed to coronavirus complications with dozens of new deaths reported. Fifty-nine new deaths were reported Monday.

The spread of the virus, appears to be slowing with fewer hospitalizations and fewer people testing positive for the virus, but Murphy urged New Jerseyeans to continue to keep social distancing in place.

So when might life start to return to normal?

“We are getting data that is making us more comfortable and confident that we will soon have some hard dates as to when we can truly begin our road back to restart and recovery,” Murphy said.

A timeline could come this week, the governor said.

Hospital Cases Continue to Decline

As of late Sunday night, COVID-19 cases in New Jersey had dropped to to just under 4,200. Down from more than 8,000 as of about a month earlier. The drop in hospitalizations is taking place in all three parts of the state.

The number of COVID-19 patients on ventilators, less than 1,000 as of Sunday night, is also declining, Murphy said.

Another decline happening is the daily percent positivity rate that dropped to 26% on Monday. That means more people taking COVID-19 tests aren't testing positive for the virus.

Menendez complemented Murphy's administration's efforts to slow the spread of the virus.

"The decisions that he has made has saved lives," Menendez said of Murphy.

Schools and nonessential businesses in the Garden State have been closed now for about two months. Murphy has spent weeks urging people to stay at home and practice social distancing when they need to go out.

Menendez himself said he wished to get a haircut and to see his new grandchild but that he understands the ongoing social-distancing measures.

Murphy said that as more people head out to parks and other outdoor locations they should be covering their faces and trying to keep as far apart as possible.

'Wave Party' Clarification

State Police Superintendent Col. Patrick Callahan said he was clarifying guidance that may have suggested residents were barred from so-called wave parties, which aren't actual gatherings, but rather people driving by in a car to wave at whoever is being celebrated.

Such drive-by events are OK, he said. What's not allowed under the governor's COVID-19 stay-at-home order are gatherings at a particular location, like a school.

The Call for Direct National Aid

On Monday, Murphy again called for direct aid to his state and others.

"Direct aid to states is an incredibly pressing issue," Murphy said. "It's increasingly one that knows no political party. It’s an issue that is uniting both Democrats and Republicans."

Murphy isn't happy with the federal response to his state and others so far.

"Some have suggested that our states should just go bankrupt. The message today – 'Washington to States: Drop Dead,'" Murphy said.

Murphy directly called out Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R- Ky.

"Kentucky gets back $2.41 back for every dollar it gets from taxpayers – including ours," Murhpy said. "(McConnell), good luck tapping New Jersey for your next project in Kentucky if New Jersey has nothing to give because you refused to help us restart and recover."

Murphy stopped short of calling the request a "bailout."

"We’re asking for the ability to prevent this public health emergency from turning into a second Great Depression," Murphy said. "We’re asking for help to keep first responders, front-line workers and educators from having to fear for their jobs."

Menendez said the federal government needs to do more to defeat the virus and move the economy forward. He touted his bipartisan "Smart Fund" proposal that give priority to states with the greatest needs.

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