InsiderNJ Poll: Grade the Murphy Administration’s Response to the COVID-19 Crisis

Phil Murphy

Governor Phil Murphy yesterday at his War Memorial press briefing responded to President Donald Trump’s rubber bullet and tear gas dispersal of peaceful protesters near the White House and subsequent walk through Lafayette Park to pose with a state Bible yesterday amid outrage countrywide about police brutality and the president’s divisive example.

“We have found a lot of common ground [on COVID-19 combat equipment, including PPE]… we’re grateful for that,” said the governor, in reference to his work with the White House through the teeth of a pandemic that to date resulted in the deaths of over 11,000 New Jerseyans.

But, he added, noting that Trump doesn’t pull punches and neither does he, “The notion of using tear gas or smoke devices or rubber bullets on peaceful protesters in exchange for a photo-op is disgraceful.”

Murphy made the observation in response to a reporter’s question in marked contrast to his past public efforts to make nice with the White House through the scourge of COVID-19.

Now, the question here is how the Murphy Administration has acted in response to the coronavirus in home state, where half of all deaths sustained by the virus were in longterm care facilities, as New Jersey faces the additional compounded challenge of multiple concentrations of protesters out on the streets demanding justice for the late George Floyd.

NJ.com columnist Paul Mulshine is not a fan, and questions the emphasis the administration placed on the crisis.

“A lot of my readers are complaining that the administration was doing things like cracking down on golfers and joggers while sending COVID-19 positive patients into nursing homes. I gather there still isn’t full screening of the staffs in the nursing home. Do you think there should be an inquiry into that?” he asked the governor last month, prior to the establishment by Senate President Steve Sweeney and GOP senate Minority Leader Tom Kean, Jr. (R-21) of a bipartisan commission to make precisely that inquiry.

Earlier today, Assemblyman Roy Freiman (D-16), who occupies a Somerset County-based battleground district, generally gave Murphy strong marks, and discussed several areas where he believes Murphy has been dead on.

The governor, for example, is a forceful advocate for wearing masks to contain COVID-19.

Amid a dramatic reconcentration of populations in the streets, the issue of wearing a mask divides those who back Trump, who scorns a mask, and those who heed his government’s immunologist, Dr. Antony Fauci, who wears a mask. “I think the general public has every right to question the mask issue,” said Freiman. “The CDC [Centers for Disease Control] said no masks then did a 180 degree turn and said ‘masks.’”

Where does he stand on it?

He wears one in public.

“The analogy I use is physicians operating use masks to protect the sterile field,” the assemblyman said. “I’m not sure we’re messaging that out enough. You’re protecting others. People are making this argument about ‘my choice and my freedom’ as though it’s analogous to not wearing a hemet while riding a motorcycle. But it’s actually more analagous to driving after drinking, because it’s putting others at risk. The data around masks needs to be examined completely. But the issue is if it really prevents you from spreading the virus, then wearing a mask prevents you from spreading the virus, and if it doesn’t quite work, you wore a mask for a little while. In the interest of COVID-19 containment and saving lives, that seems like a reasonable trade-off.”

Murphy, moreover, has positioned the state to lead the country in tests administered, as highly populated country crossroads New Jersey absorbed the loss of well over 11K lives, one of the country’s most COVID-19 impacted.

Now the question:

Grade the Murphy Administration's Response to the COVID-19 Crisis

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  • Robert Knapp

    I am an adjunct college professor for the past twenty eight years and currently serve in the area of social and human services since 1968-going into my 52nd year. I gave Governor Murphy an A (there was no choice for A plus). Listening to the Governor each day, the phases of reopening the state make complete sense. There is a balance between the economic health of the state but more importantly the health and well being for the people in the State of New Jersey.

    God Bless Governor Phil Murphy and his team!

    Bob Knapp, Jersey City

    • billwheeler89

      This has nothing to do with a virus…and everything to do with control….Why is it Democrat Governors are the ones holding America hostage? Are they doing a “test run” for when and if democrats take over Washington DC?
      Murphy is a total failure as a Governor

      • 2D4EVER

        Florida and Texas are spiking, Georgia has made no progress, and the economy hasn’t bounced back in the red states that reopened early (or didn’t close at all).

    • Peg Houle

      I totally agree with you – I give him an A+ as well. He has kept us safe, gone slowly and thoughtfully in the reopening and followed the numbers. He just opened public and private club pools today. I think his team is to be commended. Now waiting for an explanation for hair salons vs nail salons and why they aren’t opening together.

  • Sue Ted

    I’m guessing the F’s are from those who think this is a joke, haven’t lost their lives or loved ones to COVID-19, and somehow cannot comprehend that safety and health are more important than anything else!

    • Derek Warner

      Well first off, people who have lost their lives typically can’t vote (even though Democrats have found a way through that loophole on many occassions). Secondly, your assertion is ludicrous; Gov Murphy is a complete and utter condescending and self-centered disaster! He allowed COVID infected patients to be sent to nursing homes where our most at-risk members of society are expecting leaders like this fool to keep them safe. In what world do you give him an ‘A’. He has been woefully unprepared and has lied to the people of NJ for months now. Phil Murphy is an incompetent idiot! Not a single action by him can be attributed to keeping New Jersians safe.

    • Carole Barnes

      Wahwahwah

  • Robert Knapp

    New Jersey could not have a better Governor at the helm. Not only is Governor Murphy and his team knowledgeable with what information is being provided by the health professionals, but equally imperative is the genuine caring of our Governor for all in New Jersey. I see persons in the street not wearing masks and practicing social distancing, it is evident that they did not (and thank the Lord they did not) lose either a family member or a close friend. I lost a dear dear friend for many years Dr. Francis Molinari who was treating patients until he fell ill with COVID and went home to the Lord on April 9, 2020.

    Thank our Lord that in this crisis we have Governor Murphy and his team for the protection, health and safety of all.

    Bob Knapp, Jersey City

    • Washington Park

      My mother went home to be with the Lord this year in a nursing home. You know, the ones you’re tin god demanded take covid-19 positive patients to place in the most vulnerable population that has caused over half of New Jersey’s covid-19 deaths. The one that daily encourages large mass gatherings to ignore social distancing to some of the most at risk residents. I guess if you’re for reducing the senior and minority populations in NJ by using a pandemic to do it he’s done a wonderful job.

  • Robert Knapp

    Sue Ted agree! I will not even dignify some of the “off the wall” comments with a response.
    God Bless Governor Murphy and his team.

    Bob Knapp, Jersey City

  • dsa

    Voting here is a useless excercise.
    Reminds me of the R Freeholders in my county who sent a “Whaaaaaa” letter to the Guv, demanding to open parks & business for Stage 1 letter BEFORE they ever bothered to act on Setting up TESTING in my county.
    That STUPID complaint was sent a few days prior to opening parks and shortly before the NJ statewide testing regimen & child care opening was set up – so as to allow workers to go to work, have their children cared for – and feel comfortable that they are covid-free…

    All engtirely reasonable. Yet never mentioned by the “WHaaaaaaa” letter from those Republicans.
    Hey Freeholders – DUH.
    The letter was an utterly pointless but clearly partisan exercise. Why? looking for jobs w Trump? Vote em all out when their terms are up.

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