Republican gubernatorial candidate Doug Steinhardt wants the “woman who needs no introduction” to be fired.
That would be Health Commissioner Judy Persichilli, who acknowledged last Friday that the state missed by one day a federal deadline to get thousands of vaccines for nursing home residents. That will delay arrival of the vaccine by one week. She attributed the missed deadline to the volume of data that had to be inputted.
With the 2021 campaign already underway, Steinhardt wants Persichilli to take the fall.
Gov. Phil Murphy had no patience with that.
“The last thing we need is people who don’t know what they are talking about from the cheap seats,” the governor said at today’s briefing.
He also contended that vaccine distribution is not going “to be a straight line” and that bumps in the road will be common. Murphy called it one of the more ambitious programs the feds have ever undertaken.
On another topic of the day, the governor said this is one time when 900 billion bucks is not good enough.
“Count me as grateful …. but don’t count me as satisfied,” Murphy said regarding the stimulus bill now moving through Congress.
The $900 billion bill will provide direct stimulus checks to residents plus funds for business and unemployment compensation. But there is no money for state and local governments, which Murphy has been seeking for months.
Again today, the governor said he sees the ongoing pandemic as a three trillion to four trillion dollar problem. He called on Congress to continue working, because 900 billion is “undershooting” the problem.
Today’s metrics were a mixed bag. More than 3,000 new cases and 29 deaths were announced, but the rate of transmission was a shade less than 1 percent. This measures how many other individuals a person with the virus will infect. So, anything less than one is very good.
Still, given the fact New Jersey has announced at least 5,000 new cases eight days this month, Murphy said there’s no reason to celebrate.
So, the governor was somber and pointed about the need for residents to avoid large Christmas and New Year’s gatherings.
Murphy said those who take part in large family parties run the risk of having “fewer loved ones gathering around the tree or under the ball” next year.