NEW JERSEY – Governor Phil Murphy, while on Fox News Sunday, told host Bret Baier that a statewide lockdown is “on the table,” though he also said that he does not want to go that route. He also blamed the increase in NJ COVID cases on “fatigue.”
Baier started the interview saying that the New Jersey seven-day rolling average was at an all times high, “up 213 percent from last month.” He then asked: “What is working and not working in New Jersey?”
Murphy started positive.
“The great news is that there’s light at the end of the tunnel; vaccines in particular, but for the next two to three months, we are in the fight of our lives,” he said.
Murphy then stated that there is a lot of private setting transmission going on,” and talked about strategically “getting at transmission” by shutting down restaurants indoors at 10:00 p.m. and lowering indoor limits to 10 people.
“We begged people to have a somber, respectful, small Thanksgiving,” he added before giving a “shout out” to New Jerseyans for “overwhelmingly” complying.
Braier then brought up the possibility of a statewide shutdown like New Jersey did in the Spring.
“I’m not saying it’s possible, but It has to stay on the table,” said Murphy. “You hate like heck to have to even consider that and God willing we won’t have to.”
The Governor told the Fox News host what would really make a difference. “A big federal stimulus, sooner than later. With a lifeline to small businesses, restaurants, folks who are unemployed. That would be a game changer.”
“So, it’s on the table, in terms of a shutdown,” admitted Murphy once again. “I don’t anticipate it, and I sure as heck don’t want to go that route, but by federal stimulus will give us a lot more ammunition to do a lot more right now.
“New Jersey has had a statewide mask mandate since July, yet your numbers, as we talked about have gone up exponentially in recent weeks,” said Baier. “So what's happening? is it not working? Are people not doing it? Are you not enforcing it?”
Murphy replied that New Jersey has had an indoor mask mandate since before July and admits that this mandate has overwhelmingly been adhered to. “Outdoors, folks are largely doing the right thing,” he added. “Yet, I don’t think that’s where its coming from. Most of it is coming from the inside. and I do think its folks letting their hair down. They’re fatigued and who the heck can blame them.”
He said that New Jerseyans did the “unthinkable” in the Spring. “We crushed a curve that was overwhelming,” Murphy said. “I have every confident that we can do it again, but I would just beg folks, particularly in the holiday season, particularly before we get to a vaccine, don’t let your hair down; keep your guard up and remember Intergenerational spread from a healthy young person to grandma, grandpa. That is our biggest fear.”