By Natasha Brown

TRENTON, N.J. (CBS) — Gov. Phil Murphy told President Donald Trump at the White House on Thursday that New Jersey will need tens of billions of dollars in financial assistance as the state reported its highest single-day death toll of the pandemic of 460. There are now over 7,200 coronavirus deaths in the Garden State, while COVID-19 cases have now topped 118,000.

During their meeting, Murphy and Trump discussed coronavirus testing and financial assistance in the wake of the state’s unprecedented economic losses.

“The financial assistance we need and we need a significant amount, this is a big hit and this is somewhere in New Jersey alone could be $20 to $30 billion,” Murphy said. “This is to allow us to keep firefighters, teachers, police, EMS on the payroll serving communities in their hour of need and that’s something we feel strongly about.”

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The president, along with governors around the country, are shifting focus on economic recovery as places like New Jersey begin to ease restrictions on certain businesses.

Murphy is allowing some golf courses and state parks to reopen starting Saturday, with increased safety protocols and social distancing requirements.

Murphy is welcoming Trump’s assistance to help get the Garden State back up and running.

“We don’t see it as a bailout,” Murphy said. “We see this as a partnership, doing the right thing in what is the worst health care crisis in the history of our nation. I want to thank the president for an extraordinary spirit of partnership across the whole spectrum of our needs.”

(Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)


During Thursday’s daily coronavirus briefing, Murphy said his meeting with the president has already shown results.

“I’m proud to announce that New Jersey is receiving 550,00 new COVID-19 test kits and 750,000 swabs from the federal government,” Murphy said. “This is a tremendous boost to our overall testing capacity, and as I’ve noted many times already, having a robust testing program is not just a key thing in the here-and-now, but a key principle for our being able to get back on the road to recovery.”

The governor also said more than 350 New Jersey nursing homes will be receiving a shipment of personal protective equipment from the federal government. It includes 220,000 masks and 1 million gloves.