Gov. Phil Murphy said he has not read comments by former Gov. Chris Christie on CNN saying that the nation needs to reopen, even if people die because of it.
“I only saw a couple of headlines on Gov. Christie. As I said earlier, count me in as the guy who wants, more than anybody else, to see us safely and responsibly get the place up and running again, particularly staring down the barrel of the shore season,” Murphy said. “No one wants that to happen more than I do, but we’ve got to do it right.”
In an interview on The Daily PC Podcast with CNN’s Dana Bash on Monday, Christie likened the loss of lives in the first and second World Wars.
“Of course, everybody wants to save every life they can — but the question is, towards what end, ultimately?” Christie said. “Are there ways that we can… thread the middle here to allow that there are going to be deaths, and there are going to be deaths no matter what?”
The sitting governor has so far been reluctant to ease restrictions even as the number of daily COVID-19 hospitalizations began to drop.
“We are not out of the woods here. I think we have flattened the curve,” Murphy said. “Bless you all, we’ve done it better than any state in America, but we’re still not in the end-zone.”
The state reported 334 new deaths on Tuesday, bringing New Jersey’s virus-related death toll to 8,244.
If the trend holds — there’s nothing to suggest that it won’t — the novel coronavirus will have killed one in every 1,000 New Jersey residents by later this week.
Murphy said that his not reading Christie’s opinion piece was not a slight of any kind.
“It’s nothing specific to the governor,” Murphy said. “I can’t read remotely everything that either you all write or that is spoken.”