CAMDEN, NJ — Gov. Phil Murphy, acting on estimates provided by Rutgers-Camden, penned a letter to President Trump asking for help in responding to the state’s impending shortfall of medical resources.
Murphy sent the letter Tuesday calling on the US military and Army Corps for assistance in efforts to expand hospital and intensive care unit capacity to prepare for COVID-19 — as well as provide more resources for workers.
In his assessment of the situation, the governor referred to figures from The Senator Walter Rand Institute for Public Affairs at Rutgers-Camden.
The institute suggests that New Jersey could be facing a peak shortfall of anywhere from 123,000 to 313,000 hospital beds, sometime between May and October.
"Currently, there are approximately 23,000 hospital beds in the State of New Jersey across 71 hospitals, with 55 percent of those beds occupied," Murphy wrote in the letter. "Approximately 2,000 of those beds are critical care unit beds. This only appears to be a fraction of the capacity that will be needed as Coronavirus-19 spreads through the New Jersey population."
Murphy referred to the pandemic as a “health crisis” that threatens “national security.”
As of Tuesday night, there are 267 COVID-19 cases in NJ and three deaths confirmed.
“By working together to identify buildings that can serve as facilities to provide emergency and intensive care, we can save many thousands of lives,” Murphy said.
Murphy’s letter reiterates his call for more supplies to support health care workers on the front lines.
“Additionally, even as we identify and secure additional facilities, those efforts will be futile unless we have the personal protective equipment needed to allow health care workers to operate and the ventilators that are needed to treat patients,” he said. "I urge you to assist us as we seek to rapidly expand these critical supplies."
Murphy referred to Trump's statement in an earlier press conference saying the Army Corps was "ready, willing, and able" to pursue such efforts.