North Jersey hitting the surge – Politico

This shouldnt come as a surprise given what New Jerseyans are seeing right across the river. But Im still a little taken aback with how little people are talking about it.

Yesterday, Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli said "It looks like the surge is beginning to occur in the northern part of the state.


Gov. Murphy acknowledged New Jersey will soon need refrigerated trucks for the bodies of coronavirus victims.

I dont have a specific day, but soon, Murphy said yesterday. The fact that were having this conversation, folks, means this is real.

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QUOTE OF THE DAY: There's no greater intervention, period, full stop, none, than physical distancing. California Gov. Gavin Newsom on CNN. (I bet you thought it was someone else)

WHERES MURPHY?: In Secaucus at 10 a.m. to tour the field hospital at the Meadowlands Exposition Center, then in Trenton for his daily briefing at 1 p.m.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY: My cousin Amanda, Princetons Brent Colburn, MBIs Michele Jaker, Environment New Jerseys Doug OMalley, Optimus Partners David Vitali

CORONAVIRUS TRACKER: The latest: 3,649 newly-diagnosed cases in New Jersey for a total of 22,255 since the pandemic hit. Ninety-one new deaths, for a total of 355.

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THE ANTI-CHRISTIE In New Jersey, a quieter alternative to Cuomo leads the pandemic response, by POLITICOs Matt Friedman: In a matter of hours last month, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy went from dealing with the biggest personal health crisis of his life to overseeing the biggest health crisis his state has faced in more than a century. On March 4, Murphy reported to a New York City hospital at dawn for a surgical procedure in which doctors removed a cancerous tumor from his left kidney. Fourteen hours later, while recovering in his hospital bed, Murphy approved a statement from his office announcing New Jerseys first known case of the coronavirus. Since then, New Jersey has seen more than 22,000 of its residents test positive for Covid-19 and more than 350 die as the state is now the second-biggest hot spot in the nation behind New York. While New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has become the national medias go-to governor as he deals with that states outbreak with tough talk and sometimes harsh, sometimes cajoling words for President Donald Trump, Murphy known locally more for his taste in Allbirds footwear and dad jokes than for being a disciplinarian has maintained a gentler, folksier style as he manages the crisis from the other side of the Hudson River.

STATEHOUSE REPORTERS LOOK FORWARD TO HARD CIDER DURING NEGOTIATION STAKE OUTS New Jersey to extend tax filing deadline to July 15, budget deadline to Sept. 30, by POLITICOs Katherine Landergan: New Jersey will extend the tax filing deadline to July 15 and the deadline for passing a state budget to Sept. 30, Gov. Phil Murphy and legislative leaders announced Wednesday morning. The state budget is typically due June 30, but that date is being pushed back three months to deal with severe financial disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has caused hardships, financial strain, and disruptions for many New Jerseyans and New Jersey businesses. As part of our response, we have reached agreement that the state income tax filing deadline and the corporation business tax filing deadline will be extended from April 15 to July 15, Murphy, Senate President Steve Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin said in a statement. Additionally, as part of the whole-of-government effort that is going into fighting COVID-19, we have agreed that the state fiscal year should be extended to September 30th, the statement said. This will allow the Administration and the Legislature to focus fully on leading New Jersey out of this crisis, and to allow for a robust, comprehensive, and well-informed budget process later in the year.

WHO COULDVE PREDICTED A DANGEROUS VIRUS COULD CAUSE PROBLEMS? Coronavirus in NJ: State was warned in 2015 about 'catastrophic' impact a flu-like disease could have, by The Asbury Park Press Michael L. Diamond: The New Jersey Department of Health updated its emergency influenza plan in 2015, predicting a devastating impact on the state if it were to get hit by a disease similar to the Spanish flu a century ago. It said nearly a third of the population would contract the illness, 277,000 would need to be hospitalized and 5,000 would die. Put into motion by the coronavirus, though, the blueprint has exposed shortfalls in preparation that have forced government and health leaders to improvise, leaving health care workers and patients at risk. In hindsight, we all should have paid attention" to the plan, said state Sen. Declan O'Scanlon, R-Monmouth. 'But without any frame of reference, it would have been hard to do.

BUILD THE WALL To stop coronavirus, Murphy wants to keep the 'lowest common denominator' out of NJ, by The Records Charles Stile: Coronavirus has converted Phil Murphy into a close-the-border hardliner. The liberal New Jersey governor, who daily invokes a 'One New Jersey family' slogan of solidarity, inclusiveness, now wants to keep 'the lowest common denominator' from traveling into the Garden State. By that he means people traveling in from other states that have been slow to take the threat seriously by refusing to close their beaches during spring break or shut down mega-churches where faith supersedes science. Murphy said he fears out-of-staters will restart the fire; or spark a second wave of infections and deaths when New Jersey life begins returning to normal his remarks are also puzzling that they come only two days after President Trump floated his own an unenforceable and constitutionally questionable travel ban of New Jersey, New York and Connecticut residents."

LUXURY APARTMENTS ARE ESSENTIAL Some NJ construction workers fear virus exposure as they continue to work, by News 12s Walt Kane: While most of New Jersey is under a stay at home order, construction workers across New Jersey are on the job. And some tell Kane In Your Corner the situation has them concerned for their safety, There's no social distancing at all, a construction worker says. I don't know why this is still going on. He's one of the hundreds who report to a job site in Jersey City each morning. Like all construction projects in the state, it's been deemed essential by Gov. Phil Murphy. But the project in question is Jersey Squared, a large, luxury high-rise complex in Journal Square that's been under construction, in stages, for years. The worker says he doesn't think it's essential at all. Other states, including New York, have taken a different approach to construction, shutting down all but essential projects.

SORRY ABOUT THAT BUT THANKS FOR THE REVENUE Pandemic isolation, shift to online gambling set up 'perfect storm,' experts say, by The Press of Atlantic Citys David Danzis: Gov. Phil Murphy ordered the indefinite closing of Atlantic Citys nine casinos March 16 but permitted online gaming to continue. Industry experts expect an escalation in online gaming activity because of the retail casino closings, and the anticipated growth in internet play has gambling addiction professionals worried. We believe every risk factor for gambling problems is increasing right now, said Keith Whyte, executive director of the National Council on Problem Gambling. The social distancing measures recommended by government health officials exacerbate conditions such as loneliness, isolation and depression that lead to problem behaviors, Whyte said.

HCQ OR CIALIS? In my bone of bones, I think this works: Pennacchio on HCQ, by InsiderNJs Fred Snowflack: Joe Pennacchio is no stranger to plunging ahead to make a point. He did that 26 years ago with a long shot primary challenge to Dean Gallo, a popular congressman. Now a state senator from Montville (LD-26) and also a co-chair of Donald Trumps New Jersey reelection effort, Pennacchio is energetically championing another and much more important cause a treatment for COVID-19. A dentist by profession, the man who called himself Jersey Joe during an unsucessful U.S. Senate bid more than a decade ago, has been firing off regular press statements praising the drug, hydroxychloroquine, or HCQ, as a treatment for the virus. The drug is not unknown. It is used to treat lupis, rheumatoid arthritis and malaria. In my bone of bones, I think this works, Pennacchio said this morning.

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A HARIRI SITUATION Rudy Giuliani wants FDA to fast-track a stem cell therapy for Covid-19; critics see political meddling, by STATs Adan Feuerstein: In recent days, Giuliani has used his Twitter account and podcast to tout the stem cell treatment being developed by a New Jersey biotech company, Celularity, despite scant evidence to date that its therapy will benefit Covid-19 patients. The company is currently seeking permission to start a clinical trial for the treatment. Giuliani, for his part, has been critical of the FDA, accusing it of standing in the way of important treatments. The general reputation of the FDA and I dont mean to be critical at a time like this but it is very slow, Giuliani said in an interview on his podcast with Bob Hariri, Celularitys founder and CEO Experts fear his argument could resonate with Trump, who has not only made Giuliani a close confidant but has long expressed impatience with the FDAs drug approval process. Giuliani could not be reached for comment.

You may remember Dr. Hariri, a Christie donor and former Celgene executive, from this.

PERIOD. LATE START Murphy hits back at Trump claim New Jersey was very late in coronavirus response, by POLITICOs Sam Sutton: New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy pushed back Wednesday on President Donald Trumps 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 theres 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 dont support that. Period, full stop. At Tuesdays 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.

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IM CONFIDENT HELL SURVIVE THE VIRUS, BUT CAN HE SURVIVE NOT GOING TO THE TURTLE BACK ZOO? Essex County Executive Joe DiVincenzo is latest N.J. official to test positive for coronavirus, by NJ Advance Medias Anthony G. Attrino: Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo Jr., who has been self-quarantined for more than a week, has tested positive for the coronavirus, he announced Wednesday. I decided to get tested after experiencing a fever for several days and have been self-quarantined since March 21, DiVincenzo, 67 said in a Facebook post. DiVincenzo said his symptoms have been mild and that he feels OK.

SHOT Coronavirus in Lakewood: the pandemic has 'changed the way we live and celebrate', by The Asbury Park Press Gustavo Martnez Contreras: After seeing and hearing all the negativity targeting Lakewood in this novel coronavirus pandemic, a Howell man decided to take a drive and see for himself. The video travelogue that 28-year-old Boruch Perlowitz created reveals a township that is ostensibly on lock down, its residents sheltering in place and steering clear of favorite places, sometimes denied by chained and locked doors. As Perlowitz depicts it, usually bustling Lakewood is as sleepy as any other town in New Jersey. I said, let me find out the truth for my neighbors and friends, said Perlowitz. I wanted to do complete honest reporting. If places were open, I would say that places are open. Perlowitz's video aims to counter a narrative in social media that paints Lakewood as a lawless place where residents openly defy Gov. Phil Murphy's executive order shuttering businesses, barring large gatherings and requiring social distancing. Perlowitz said that narrative has engendered enmity toward the town's largely Orthodox Jewish community.

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From News 12 anchor Kurt Sieglin on his Lakewood school bus tweets, which I included in Playbook earlier this week: In vetting a story, I screwed up yesterday. There were many reasons the tweets went out, but the responsibility is ultimately with me. Its my account. I have a brand to protect. I regret it. Im sorry for any pain or distrust the tweets created for residents who saw it. Much morehere

R.I.P. Five residents dead at New Milford nursing home, 16 test positive for coronavirus, by The Records Lindy Washburn: A nursing home in New Milford where at least five residents have died of complications of coronavirus is Bergen Countys first major outbreak at a long-term care facility. The disease already has nearly filled area hospitals. Sixteen residents and six staff members at Care One New Milford, known as Woodcrest, have tested positive for coronavirus and others are being tested, the company said late Tuesday night. Additional deaths at the facility also are being investigated to see if the residents had coronavirus.

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100% THAT DISH Lizzo sends food to N.J. hospital, says were praying for you everyday, by NJ Advance Medias Bobby Olivier: After a hefty food donation from a pop superstar, Community Medical Center is hopefully feeling 'Good As Hell.' Lizzo, the breakout 'Truth Hurts' singer, sent food to the Toms River hospital Monday to thank the medical staff for their hard work battling the coronavirus outbreak. Hello Toms River! Lizzo said in a video posted by RWJBarnabas Monday. Thank you for working so hard for us. I wanted to show a token of my appreciation and just drop off some food, I hope you enjoy the meals.

R.I.P. Fountains of Waynes Adam Schlesinger Dead at 52 From Coronavirus, by Rolling Stone's Jon Blistein: "Adam Schlesinger, co-founder of the New Jersey power-pop group Fountains of Wayne and Emmy- and Grammy-winning songwriter for film, television, and theater, died Wednesday from complications related to COVID-19. He was 52."

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North Jersey hitting the surge - Politico

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