Phil Murphy says no coronavirus outbreaks in New Jersey linked to Trump fundraiser
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) said Tuesday that officials have not detected any coronavirus outbreaks in the state linked to a fundraiser President Trump held earlier this month at his club in Bedminster.
“We’re not aware of any outbreaks, and the federal response was extremely disappointing,” Murphy said at a press conference with Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Rep. Tom Malinowski (D-N.J.) and state legislative leaders on a different topic.
The announcement comes almost two weeks after Trump held a fundraiser at his golf club on Oct. 1, hours before he announced he’d tested positive for COVID-19. Officials quickly became concerned that the fundraiser would emerge as a superspreader event. Those fears spiked after numerous people who attended a later event at the White House tested positive for the coronavirus.
The state government was forced to undergo a massive contact tracing operation after Trump’s announcement to get in touch with fundraiser attendees and workers, and Murphy later announced that the state opened an investigation into reports that the event “may not have compiled” with state coronavirus rules.
“As they say, the virus doesn’t care who you are. New Jersey doesn’t care who you are — a group of folks from out of state coming in knowingly having been exposed to someone who is COVID-positive is really, really frustrating,” he told “CBS This Morning” after the event.
The Garden State is already grappling with a spike in coronavirus cases. Fueled by outbreaks linked to Orthodox Jewish communities in the state, New Jersey had nearly 1,000 new cases over the previous day, Murphy said Tuesday, a figure comparable to some of the worst days of the pandemic in May.
#COVID19 UPDATE: New Jersey has 993 new positive cases, pushing our cumulative total to 215,085.
We’re reporting seven new confirmed COVID-19 deaths for a total of 14,394 lives lost.
— Governor Phil Murphy (@GovMurphy) October 13, 2020
More than 16,000 people have died in New Jersey from the pandemic.