TRENTON, NJ --- Gov. Phil Murphy today said he “is pleading for direct (financial) assistance” from the federal government during his COVID-19 press briefing in Trenton on Friday, July 24. The governor said he is asking for more than $20 billion for Washington.

“We will continue to push for direct aid that New Jersey – and every state that is shouldering the burden of this pandemic – needs to come back stronger and more resilient,” Murphy said. “If only (Senate Majority Leader) Mitch McConnell shared our sense of the gravity of the situation!"

“I cannot express enough my level of frustration with his inability to put together a relief bill that has any meaningful or significant direct assistance to states,” the governor continued. “This may be just another game of politics for Senator McConnell, but this is a matter of survival for governors of both parties, by the way.”

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“Pushing important decisions to the last minute threatens the ability of states, including ours, to be able to safeguard for the long-term our public health and safety, education, infrastructure, and other initiatives. The middle class is left twisting in McConnell’s political breeze. There’s a plan there ready to be voted on. We will push for direct aid to NJ to come back stronger.”

“We need another significant slug of direct federal cash assistance. Please, I’m pleading with Congress, both sides of the aisle. Hear our call, not just from Blue States, not just from the Northeast,” Murphy implored. “To keep us delivering services in our darkest hour of need, we need direct cash assistance. It’s good for everybody.”

Murphy estimated that New Jersey needs north of $20 billion to keep delivering EMS, healthcare, education, and other services to state residents.

“This is not a nice to have, it’s gotta have,” the governor said.

Daily COVID Numbers

New Jersey’s spot positivity rate for tests from July 20th was 2.36%, while its rate of transmission stands at 0.84.

“These are among our best indicators related to the continuing spread of coronavirus,” Murphy said. “The lower both numbers get, the slower the spread. Let’s keep them low.”

The governor announced 488 new positive COVID-19 test results, which upped the statewide cumulative total since March 4 to 178,345. There currently are 800 patients in hospitals (388 of whom have tested positive for COVID-19 and 412 who are listed as “persons under investigation” pending the return of test results. Of those hospital patients, 138 patients are in either critical or intensive care, and 62 of them are on ventilators.

Murphy announced 36 newly confirmed COVID-19 deaths, bringing the state total number of confirmed deaths to 13,845. Of the deaths we’re announcing today, seven occurred within the last five days. The number of probable deaths remains 1,920.