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Gov. Phil Murphy. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for the New Jersey Globe)

Schedule not damaging governor’s health

‘The needle is at the red line, and I’ve got to be careful,’ Murphy says

By Nikita Biryukov, March 20 2020 4:07 pm

The weeks following Gov. Phil Murphy’s surgery to remove a what was later identified as a cancerous tumor on his left kidney have seen the sixty-two-year old head of state working long hours to deal with the COVID-19 crisis.

Though he took a little more than a week to recuperate following the procedure, Murphy has since made daily appearances at lengthy briefings on the novel coronavirus and has conducted numerous television hits at odd hours in the time since.

Asked about his health on Friday, Murphy acknowledged that he was walking a tight rope but said the schedule had not taken a toll on him.

“I will admit to you — the needle is at the red line, and I’ve got to be careful,” he said. “I’ve got to really manage how much time I’m by myself at home and working the phones versus how much I’m out.”

Murphy took head of the COVID briefings on March 13, nine days after the surgery to remove his tumor.

Since then, he’s headed six in-person briefings and two others that were conducted electronically.

The briefings frequently run for two hours and have rarely lasted for less than one and a half hours.

Over the same period, he’s often made at least three appearances on separate broadcasts.

Less publicly, he’s holding meetings with federal, state and local officials meant to coordinate responses to the virus at various levels of government.

Still, Murphy said the schedule hasn’t taken a toll.

“So far so good. I feel good,” he said. “We had the checkup by Tammy’s iPhone the other night. It was a good one.”

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