Gov. Phil Murphy expects day care centers and camps in New Jersey to reopen “sooner than later" as the state begins to end restrictions imposed amid the coronavirus pandemic, he said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Nation.”
Murphy said day care “is at or near the top of our list" since the economy cannot be reopened successfully without giving working parents “an opportunity to have their kids properly looked after."
“Right now, it’s limited only to essential front-line health care first responders," the Democratic governor said. “We have to open that up. My guess is, that is sooner than later."
Murphy said “the big nuts to crack" will not only include day care but “back to school in August and September and mass transit."
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Murphy also took issue with earlier comments on the program from White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett saying a data analysis on state budget shortfalls was needed and asserting that some requests for state and local bailouts were “radically more money than the expected shortfall for the year.”
Murphy said “We don’t need a data crunch.” He said the budget his administration announced Friday had to cut or defer more than $5 billion in expenditures “and this includes potentially laying off educators, firefighters, police, EMS, health care workers."
“This is not abstract. This is real. It’s not a blue state issue. It’s an American issue,” Murphy said.
Murphy later posted a picture on Twitter of himself and the first lady — both wearing masks — taking “a nice stroll along the boardwalk in Seaside Heights and Seaside Park."
“Lots of folks wearing masks, practicing social distancing, and responsibly enjoying our beautiful shore this Memorial Day Weekend," he said.
New Jersey health officials earlier posted information stating that the number of deaths associated with the coronavirus in the state now tops 11,100. The state health department cited more than 154,150 confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 and a total of 11,133 deaths associated with the virus.
For most people, the virus causes mild or moderate symptoms that clear up within weeks. Older adults and people with existing health problems are at higher risk of more severe illness or death.