Post-mortem review of N.J. response to COVID to happen ‘within a matter of weeks’

Gov. Phil Murphy says a review of how New Jersey responded to the COVID pandemic will happen “within a matter of weeks” after being pressed on national television.

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy speaks during the state's COVID briefing on Feb. 23, 2022. (Screen shot/New Jersey)

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy speaks during the state's COVID briefing on Feb. 23, 2022. (Screen shot/New Jersey)

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy was asked again whether his administration would conduct a review of the state’s response to the COVID pandemic.

This time it was on national television.

Murphy, on Fox News Sunday, said “I don’t have news to break, but I think we’re within a matter of weeks of coming up with a comprehensive program.”

When the governor was asked about it last week in Passaic City at an unrelated event, he told reporters that he didn’t have a date, according to NJ Advance Media. He reiterated that his administration was committed to doing a post-mortem review.

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“I want to make sure it’s effective, not just in teaching us what went wrong, but also that it can be a tool for future governors, future administrations,” he said.

Murphy has promised a post-mortem review of the state’s response since the early days of the pandemic in 2020. The state previously sanctioned an independent review of long-term care facilities and released the report in June 2020. Murphy says the review will cover everything including long-term care.

Republicans, as recently as last week, have continued to criticize Murphy for not doing a review yet.

“Gov. Murphy should be honest with people that he has absolutely no intention of doing a ‘post-mortem’ of his administration’s pandemic failures,” said state Sen. Joe Pennacchio (R-Montville) told InsiderNJ. “It’s clear the administration doesn’t want to be held accountable for their many mistakes even if [it] will help save lives in the future.”

Murphy said, on Fox, that the presence of COVID does not mean that a review will not take place.

“COVID, sadly, is still with us,” he said. “It will continue to be with us, but we can’t wait till the last case to do that review.”

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