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NJ governor: Next few weeks are 'going to be hell'

NJ governor: Next few weeks are 'going to be hell'
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New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy (D) expressed optimism regarding the rollout of the first round of COVID-19 vaccines on Sunday, but cautioned that the next few weeks are “going to be hell.”

Appearing on ABC’s "This Week," Murphy discussed the distribution of 76,000 vaccines in New Jersey. Host Martha Raddatz noted that health-care workers and nursing homes are first priority in receiving the vaccine and asked Murphy who would be next in line to be immunized.

“We’re working through that right now,” said Murphy. “Remember, Moderna is up for their emergency use authorization this week. And, God willing, they get in. Then you’ve got not only increasing batches from Pfizer, you’ve then got a second vaccine coming online with shipments each week. And those larger populations will then be dealt with.”

Raddatz also brought up the rising number of coronavirus cases and deaths, noting that New Jersey has averaged 5,000 daily cases this past week. 

"Yes, Martha, for all the good news, the light at the end of the tunnel, and the vaccine exemplifies that as much as anything, the next number of weeks are going to be hell, I fear,” said Murphy.

“So we're begging people to please, please, please don't let your guard down, even when you're in private settings," he added. "You know, we think somewhere between 60 to 80 percent of our transmission is in private settings right now.”

Echoing recommendations from the Center for Disease Control, Murphy encouraged people to have smaller celebrations for the holiday season, only gathering with your immediate family.

“We know that stinks, but, please God, that's your down payment on a more normal one next year,” Murphy said.