TRENTON, N.J. (CBS) — New Jersey is closing in on its first two million COVID-19 vaccinations. Gov. Phil Murphy joined Eyewitness News on Friday afternoon.
CBS3: As we mark the one-year anniversary of the pandemic and as states are starting to loosen restrictions ahead of spring break, what are you most concerned about?READ MORE: Triple Shooting In Fairhill Leaves 1 Dead, 2 Hospitalized, Philadelphia Police Say
MURPHY: It’s been an unbelievable and heartbreaking year. I think I’m most concerned, honestly, about people letting their hair down. I’m confident that we’re going to have the vaccine supplies that we need. We have built out a massive distribution system. Our numbers are going up by the day. I think we’ll get to three million shots in the arms this weekend. I know the [President Joe] Biden team is doing a great job delivering that over the next couple of weeks. I think complacency. You know, we have the variants in our state. We have the Brazilian, the U.K., the South African, the New York City, they’re more transmissible — not necessarily more lethal but more transmissible. So that’s my big concern. We’re going to get there. We’re going to be able to open up, the weather will get better, vaccines will be available to anyone who wants them over the next couple of months. I just don’t folks to let their guard down too soon.
CBS3: You have been adamant that the new stimulus bill is not overinflated. How do you hope this money will help New Jersey residents specifically?READ MORE: Teenager Killed In Trenton Shooting Identified As Shemiah Davis, Mercer County Prosecutor's Office Says
MURPHY: Thank God it got passed and signed. It’s going to be a game-changer. I was looking at the long list of areas that we’ve done a lot as a state, but no state has the firepower that the federal government has. The money to support vaccines, testing, the folks who are [behind] on rent or mortgage payments or utility payments, childcare, small businesses, and restaurants that have been clobbered. The needs are up and down our state — unemployed folks.
CBS3: On Thursday night, President Biden set a goal to have enough vaccines available for all Americans by May 1. If that’s the case, do you think Americans, as he suggested, could get back to normal by the Fourth of July?MORE NEWS: Apartment Fire In Norwood Leaves Several People Injured
MURPHY: I hope you’re down there on Memorial Day. That’s the holiday we have targeted, but certainly by the Fourth of July. Will it be completely back to normal? No. I’m not sure we’ll be all on top of each other in some crowded club, but it’s going to be a lot more normal than it is right and a lot more normal than last summer on the shore. I’m looking forward to a fantastic Jersey Shore summer.