TRENTON, N.J. (CBS/AP) — New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy on Monday promised transparency over the state’s spending on protective gear bought to combat COVID-19. Murphy, a Democrat, spoke Monday during a news conference about the virus and responded to a reporter’s question about an Associated Press report showing New York and New Jersey have so far declined to release detailed breakdowns of their spending on personal protective gear and medical equipment during the first frenzied months of the virus outbreak.
Murphy said he wasn’t sure why the purchase orders —typically a public document — were declined.
“I have no problem at all reporting what we spent on PPE,” he said. “I’m all for everyone knowing exactly what we’re doing.”
New Jersey failed to provide purchase orders for personal protective equipment, saying fulfilling the request would be “substantially disruptive to agency operations.”
The state did provide a one-page document showing it spent $164 million for 153 million pieces of equipment, including masks, gloves, goggles, beds and even morgue trucks.
It’s unclear when the documents will become available.
The state reported over 3,100 new COVID cases and 29 additional deaths.
This is NOT THE YEAR for Christmas-as-usual or New Year’s Eve-as-usual.
Please do not hold a large, indoor family Christmas gathering or indoor New Year’s Eve party.
We cannot take the risk of these celebrations leading to a spike in new cases and hospitalizations.
— Governor Phil Murphy (@GovMurphy) December 21, 2020
Murphy also pleaded with residents to not hold large Christmas or New Year’s gatherings.
(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)
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