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Georgia governor says state may see peak hospital capacity on April 23

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy pushed back Wednesday on President Donald Trump’s assertion that the state got off to a “very late start” on coronavirus containment and mitigation, arguing that the Garden State was one of the first to begin preparing for the possibility of a coronavirus outbreak in January.
“I don’t think that there’s any state in America that was on this earlier than we were,” Murphy said at his coronavirus press briefing, adding that Washington state — where the first domestic case of coronavirus was discovered in January — also responded rapidly. “The facts don’t support that. Period, full stop.”
At Tuesday’s White House coronavirus briefing, Trump said that while he believes Murphy and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo responded effectively to the public health crisis, “they got off to a very late start” on containment.
Murphy appointed state Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli to lead a coronavirus task force in early February. Persichilli, who spearheaded much of New Jersey’s response to the crisis, held calls with hospital officials as early as January about preparing for a possible influx of coronavirus cases.
Over the last month, the greater New York City metro area became the global epicenter of the pandemic, with tens of thousands of reported cases putting unprecedented strain on the region’s health care infrastructure.
Murphy on Wednesday announced that New Jersey now has 22,255 positive cases of the virus and that 355 people have died. The total number of positive cases is second only to New York.
Murphy, who was elected to office on a wave of anti-Trump sentiment in New Jersey, has avoided directly criticizing the president or his administration since the crisis began. He reiterated on Wednesday that he’s appreciative of the federal support his administration’s received thus far.
“[The speed of New Jersey’s response] hasn’t crept into any exchange we’ve had with the administration,” Murphy said. “It just hasn’t come up, ever, because it just isn’t true.”