Gov. Phil Murphy (D-N.J.) commented on President Donald J. Trump’s announcement of testing positive for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) just after visiting New Jersey during a press conference yesterday.
“We are continuing our work to receive all of the information we need from the White House, the Republican National Committee and the management of Trump National (Golf Club) in Bedminster with regard to our contact tracing efforts following last week’s fundraising event with (Trump),” he said.
Murphy said they received a list of all 206 attendees from two separate events held in Bedminster in addition to the 19 staff members involved.
He said that all individuals who were present at these events were contacted about potentially being exposed to COVID-19 and were told to self-monitor for potential symptoms. Additionally, he said all attendees were told to self-quarantine for two weeks, especially those who came in close contact with Trump and members of his staff.
Attendees were also asked to get tested for the virus no earlier than five to seven days after the event, Murphy said. Even if individuals receive a negative test result, Murphy said they should still self-quarantine for 14 days.
“This is not a matter of politics, but a matter of humanity,” he said. “But this is also a matter of leadership by example, and it is clear that (Trump) and his staff acted recklessly in coming to New Jersey in the first place knowing they had been exposed to someone with a confirmed positive test.”
Murphy said that while this incident is one that directly affects New Jersey, it is not the first instance in which there has been a lack of leadership.
“This is the latest chapter in a long series of chapters over the past seven months with things like developing and engendering a political debate over masks, as an example, when there should be none associated with it,” he said. “This is based on science, data and the facts. This has nothing to do with politics, and yet that has been allowed to take hold.”
Murphy said that there have also been reports that suggest these events did not comply with New Jersey’s current COVID-19 guidelines.
“To put it bluntly, the actions leading up to and during this event have put lives at risk,” Murphy said.