New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) said Sunday that he is hopeful the state will be prepared for a broader reopening by Memorial Day, but said it is too early to tell.
“I’ll be the happiest guy in New Jersey if not America if we are” ready to reopen, Murphy said on “Fox News Sunday,” but added, “I think it’s too early to tell.”
The state reopened public parks and golf courses this weekend and Murphy told Fox News's Chris WallaceChristopher (Chris) WallaceBiden vaccine mandate puts McConnell, GOP leaders in a tough spot The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by National Industries for the Blind - Biden's .5 trillion plan will likely have to shrink Breyer says term limits would 'make life easier for me' MORE that "compliance was very high in terms of social distancing.”
"That sort of behavior as we flatten the curve… as we push those curves down… that’s the best weapon we’ve got to get the best outcome,” he said.
New Jersey was also one of several states that saw protests against stay-at-home orders over the weekend.
Asked about the demonstrations, Murphy said: “I don’t begrudge their right to protest,” saying “my biggest issue is they were congregating without face masks.”
White House coronavirus task force coordinator Deborah Birx made similar comments earlier in the day, saying the lack of masks or social distancing among protesters was “devastatingly worrisome.”
Murphy noted that “the overwhelming amount of folks in our state believe we are on the right path,” and said reopening state parks was “partly for mental health reasons.”
“We’ve got to make our decision based on the science, the data and the facts… we’re not out of this yet,” Murphy told Wallace. “In the here and now hospitalizations are down, ventilator use is down, the positive testing curve is flattening. Those are all good signs, but we’re not in the end zone yet.”
New Jersey has the second-highest number of coronavirus cases in the U.S., behind New York.
“We’re the densest state in America, our region is the densest region in America, [so] we’ve got to be exceedingly careful,” Murphy said.