Fresh from his trip to Washington, D.C., to attend Wednesday’s inauguration of President Joe Biden, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said he is optimistic the new administration’s national coronavirus response plan will help expedite the distribution of vaccines across the state.
“The executive orders (President Biden) signed yesterday committing his administration to this task is a sea change from where we had been, from a federal government which pretty much kept its hands off and left the states to figure it out,” Murphy said during today’s COVID-19 briefing.
“We have built the infrastructure we need from the ground up for an aggressive vaccination push. All we need are the millions of doses we have been promised months ago, and I am much more confident today than I was on Tuesday that we’ll get there.”
Murphy called it a “big week” for New Jersey, referring to the fact that local celebrities such as Bruce Springsteen, Jon Bon Jovi and Jon Stewart performed at the post-Inauguration “Concert for America,” and that former N.J. Commissioner of Human Services, Carole Johnson; Murphy’s Senior Counsel Justin Dews, NJ State Division of Consumer Affairs Director Paul Rodriguez; and Chief Policy Advisor on transportation issues, Vinn White, have all been tapped to serve in the Biden administration.
Murphy also gave an update on COVID-19 statistics, including 4,437 positive test results in the past week, along with 118 deaths that brought the total to 18,754 since the pandemic began. Regarding the vaccines, he said New Jersey passed the half-million mark this week and he hopes in the coming week, the number of those who have been vaccinated will surpass the number of those who have tested positive for the virus.
“Our goal is to ensure that every New Jerseyan who raises their hand to get vaccinated, gets vaccinated,” he said.
In addition, Murphy noted that more than 1.9 million New Jersey residents have pre-registered through the covid19.nj.gov/vaccine website, 1.4 million of whom are currently eligible for vaccination. Starting Monday, people will also be able to register for the vaccine by calling 855-568-0545.
“We’re in the ‘if we build it, they will come’ mode; now we just need them to come,” said Murphy, who earlier today toured a former-Lord & Taylor-turned vaccine mega-site in Moorestown. “We need the vaccine supplies to ramp up out of Washington because we are really set up as a distribution model around the state.”
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