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ICYMI: DGA Chair Gov. Phil Murphy Responds to Recordings of President Trump Saying He Wanted to Downplay Severity of COVID-19 Pandemic

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“When I hear the February 7 anecdote, and I’m asked the question, ‘Do you think you could have saved more lives?’, the answer I have to believe is yes.”

Yesterday on CNN, DGA Chair New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy responded to recordings of President Trump in February saying he wanted to downplay the coronavirus.

Gov. Murphy said if the federal government would have been more honest with governors about the virus earlier this year, he believes more lives could have been saved.

Even in the absence of clear guidance from the federal government, Gov. Murphy took early action on COVID-19, forming a task force on Feb. 3, long before the first case of coronavirus was confirmed in New Jersey. He implemented social distancing measures not long after that – banning large gatherings, limiting restaurants to take out, and closing places like gyms and nonessential stores. Gov. Murphy also joined all Democratic governors in instituting a mask mandate in his state.

Unlike the President, Gov. Murphy “shot straight” with New Jerseyans and “built up a bridge of trust with folks,” which ultimately helped flatten the curve.

Gov. Murphy told CNN the federal government could still play an important role in helping to combat the spread of COVID-19. He recommends the White House put in place a national mask mandate and provide much-needed aid to states and localities.

Watch Gov. Murphy on CNN here.