President Joe Biden said last week, “Look, the only pandemic we have is among the unvaccinated.”
Murphy used similar language in his CNBC interview Tuesday. “We’ve got probably 350 folks in our hospital. We keep them in our prayers. But I venture to say, they’re all unvaccinated,. So I would just continue to … plead with people to get vaccinated.”
“The variants are all over our state,” he said. “I would beg people to get vaccinated, and if they do so, it doesn’t mean that you can’t get Covid. But it does mean, overwhelmingly, you’re going to stay out of the hospital and please God stay alive.”
The seven-day average of new daily coronavirus cases in New Jersey is roughly 422, up nearly 50% compared with a week ago, according to a CNBC analysis of Johns Hopkins University data. The country’s seven-day average of new daily coronavirus cases is 34,730, a 47% increased from a week ago, per CNBC’s analysis of Johns Hopkins data.
Murphy acknowledged the Covid situation in New Jersey has gotten worse recently, but said it’s relative.
“The good news is, the overall metrics, if you look at hospitalizations, positivity rates, folks who are severely sick in the ICU, rate of transmission, etc., while it may not be where it was a few weeks ago, these are still largely in very good shape,” he said. “We continue to vaccinate several thousand people, if not more, a day with their first vaccine.”
According to the CDC, fully vaccinated people can “resume activities without wearing a mask or staying 6 feet apart, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance.”
Asked whether New Jersey would follow LA County’s action on masks, Murphy said, “For the time being, I hope we don’t have to do that.” In general, the governor said New Jersey does not want to put Covid restrictions, most of which were lifted by early June, back in place. “If we have to, we will,” he cautioned.
“I hope … we’re going to be able to stay where we are, but you never say never,” Murphy added. “This virus dictates the terms, not us, and we’ll continue to watch it like a hawk.”