Murphy: ‘This is a Moral Test for Us All’

Murphy at his town hall.

Phil Murphy was somber as usual at the start of today’s briefing, reporting the deaths of an additional 323 residents from the coronavirus.

He mixed this with some “good” news, noting that the “curve,” or percentage of increased cases was flattening a bit.

“We have come a long way already,” he said as we are now into the second month of staying at home and social distancing. And he pleaded for people to keep doing what most of them are doing –  complying with a series of executive orders.

He said he knows not everyone is happy.

Plans for a protest over the governor’s shut down order appeared on social media earlier this week and there are seemingly daily push backs to his edict to close county and state parks.

And today he offered an outlet for those who are annoyed.

“Go ahead, it’s on me,” Murphy said, suggesting those aggrieved should blame him, the governor.

At the same time, Murphy was clear that until the facts change, the shut-down will remain.

The governor often talks of the current struggle as a “war,” and has compared the state’s death toll to what we saw during past wars, including World War II.  In this vein, he’s mentioned Churchill more
than once.

And today he brought up a man from America’s recent past – Hubert Humphrey. Murphy was born in 1957, so Humphrey’s 1968 presidential run may have been the first the governor truly remembers.

The governor referenced a famous Humphrey quote about judging a society by how it treats its most vulnerable – the very young, the very old and the sick.

“This is a moral test for us all,” Murphy said. The implication was clear. Sure, people are being inconvenienced, but simple morality demands that we make health and welfare of people the priority. To
him, that’s more important than going to the gym, going out to eat or getting a hair cut.

Schools, of course, are a bit different.

Murphy acted as if he has gotten some negative feedback over his move Thursday to keep schools closed through at least May 15.

He said that date was picked “deliberately,” not on a whim.

It’s about a month away, and by that time, the governor said, “We hope to know a whole lot more.”

And that “whole lot more” may be postive news about the virus, meaning Murphy is holding out hope schools can open. That could mean graduation ceremonies in June would go off as scheduled. Proms may even be saved.

So, maybe – just maybe – it will be business as usual in another four weeks or so?

Not really.

Schools may reopen, but Murphy said students likely will have to wear masks.

(Visited 4 times, 1 visits today)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

News From Around the Web

The Political Landscape