NJ governor: Any reopening 'depends first and foremost on a complete health care recovery'

 

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) warned on Sunday that the U.S. could not pull back on social distancing measures put in place to stem the spread of coronavirus without first restoring the health care system’s capacity.

“Any sort of an economic reopening or recovery depends first and foremost on a complete health care recovery,” Murphy said on CBS’ “Face the Nation” Sunday.  “If we either transpose those steps or we start to get back on our feet too soon I fear based on the data we’re looking at we could be throwing gasoline on a fire.”

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“The pain is awful, we get that in terms of unemployment but based on how we see this evolving, I’m all for economic recovery but it needs to be on the back of a full health care recovery,” he added.

The governor said that the White House had provided the Garden State with a number of ventilators from the national stockpile in recent weeks, but “we continue to be shy on all fronts and we are consistently not just asking the white house but also turning over every stone in New Jersey and frankly around the world.”

Ventilators, he added, were “at the top of the list,” but “[personal protective equipment] is something we are constantly on the prowl for.”

Murphy reiterated that “there are a whole series of steps on health care infrastructure” that must be taken, adding that in states like New Jersey it would be in partnership with New York, a national hotspot for the virus. “We need to have a regional approach, we can’t do this alone,” he said.