New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) said on Sunday that his state “went through hell” when the coronavirus pandemic struck and “cannot afford to go through hell again.”
Murphy told NBC’s “Meet the Press” that New Jersey has “paid an enormous price” with its at least 13,333 confirmed deaths after the state and New York served as an earlier epicenter of the pandemic in the U.S.
“To me, it says we need a national strategy. We're only as strong as our weakest link right now,” he said. “As you mentioned in the, in the outset of the program, I said ‘We went through hell. We cannot afford to go through hell again.’”
“We need a national strategy I think right now, and masking has got to be at the core of that,” he added.
WATCH: @GovMurphy (D-N.J.) tells @Mitchellreports that "we need a national strategy ... [and] masking is at the core of that." #MTP #IfItsSunday— Meet the Press (@MeetThePress) July 5, 2020
"We went through hell. We cannot afford to go through hell again." pic.twitter.com/HpYttwsVmY
The governor also called for a national mask requirement, saying “it’s become almost not even debatable.”
New Jersey was hit hard by the pandemic and has counted a total of 173,033 confirmed cases, according to the state’s health department.
Now, other states like Arizona, California, Florida and Texas are struggling with rising case numbers in reopened states.