NJ governor orders all flags across the state be lowered to half-staff indefinitely for lives lost to coronavirus
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New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) signed an executive order Friday directing all flags in the state to be lowered to half-staff “indefinitely” in honor of the lives lost during the coronavirus pandemic. 

“This is one of the greatest tragedies to ever hit our state. We must have a constant & visible memorial,” Murphy tweeted.

The state — which is adjacent to New York City, the epicenter of the pandemic in the U.S. — is one of the states hardest-hit by the virus. As of Friday afternoon, New Jersey had nearly 30,000 confirmed cases of the virus and 646 reported deaths, according to the state’s department of health. 

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Murphy on Thursday called for a review of the federal government's response to the coronavirus pandemic. 

"On the one hand, I'll leave history to the historians in terms of how we got here," Murphy told CNN's Wolf Blitzer when asked about the Trump administration's response to the spreading pandemic. "But on the other hand, we've got — all of us have to do one of the biggest postmortems, when the dust settles on this, in the history of our country. We've got to figure out how the heck we got into this spot and make sure we never get in this spot ever again.”