Governor Phil Murphy: Good afternoon, everyone. With me is the woman on my right who needs no introduction, the Commissioner of the Department of Health, Judy Persichilli. To her right, COVID-19 Response Medical Advisor and former State Epidemiologist, Dr. Eddy Bresnitz. Eddy is with us normally on Wednesdays. Good to have you back, and Judy, always. On the 20th anniversary of his graduation from the State Police Academy, the guy to my left, the Superintendent of the State Police, Colonel Pat Callahan. We have Jared Maples, the Director of the Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness, Parimal Garg, and a cast of thousands.
Sundown tonight marks the beginning of Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day. We can never let the memories of the six million Jews and millions of others who were senselessly murdered by the powerful forces of hate and ignorance fade away. The fight against the reemergence of these forces is never ending, and we must stand as one until we secure the ultimate victory of understanding, tolerance, and our common humanity. That’s a picture, actually, of Tammy and me at Yad Vashem in October of 2018, one of seven trips I have been honored to make to the state of Israel and a reminder that Eddy’s parents are both Holocaust survivors from Hungary. Eddy, to you and your family and to the families out there who lost loved ones and/or survived, we wish you a blessed Yom HaShoah and commitment that we will never, ever, ever forget.
Moving on, in response to a question we received on Monday and before we get to the daily numbers, I want to revisit one last time the models we’ve shown you over the past week that map out the three potential best-case, moderate-case, high-case scenarios for the next number of months. This chart, I think as we promised, reiterates the high points in terms of the numbers in each of these scenarios, the numbers of cases, hospitalizations, ICU vents, but it also adds the dates on which those numbers are expected – those peak numbers are expected to be reached. Just take a minute there and take a gander. Not a whole lot of difference in terms of timing, in fact no difference in timing between the best and moderate cases, but a meaningful difference into the high case, and there’s one other wrinkle to that. Under both the best and the moderate cases as you can see, the peaks are reached on April 18th. The high-case scenarios, we don’t reach that until plus or minus the middle of May, and I think, Judy, as we talked about the other day, the most troubling aspect of the high-case scenario isn’t necessarily the peak in terms of the numbers, although those numbers are concerning, but the slow decline on the other side.
Let’s just flip through these, Mahan, in both the best – this is the best. You can see the blue line are cases, etc. You can see that comes down pretty precipitously. If we flip to moderate, you see a similar, not quite as dramatic, reduction in the – the decline in both of those cases is consistent throughout the summer. However, in the high-case scenario – and this is the one that I think is the one that troubles, realistically, all of us, and I know it does you – you stall out at a higher range, and in fact, while the high points are reached in middish-May, there’s a second uptick which you can’t really – this is an eye chart, but trust me is a second high uptick in mid-June, and then there’s a much slower decline throughout the summer. This is not only high numbers, but it’s a longer duration event.
Frankly, of the two, I worry more about the latter and our reaction to that, our ability as a society to stay the course throughout that longer period. It’s why we are continuing to enforce things like our statewide mask mandate, especially for indoor activities where we know the transmission is more likely and also in the face of the more transmissible variants that we know are among us. More on that from Judy. It is also a reason why we moved up our vaccine eligibility time frame aggressively so we can now have more people into the ranks of thee fully vaccinated in a shorter amount of time. I’m gratified, by the way, that as we did it, the next day the federal government has done it. Now, again, the models change daily based on the latest data. This is now showing you the first slide again, but right now, it would be relatively safe to say that we’re likely looking at a reality somewhere between best and moderate, but we all have to redouble our efforts to keep the high-case model from becoming a reality. I repeat that conversation I had a year ago with Ron Klain talking about modeling for COVID in light of his work on Ebola as the nation’s czar, and he said don’t ever forget that models are models, but human behavior can bend these trajectories good or bad. Let’s hope it’s for the good, folks. We need this one more push to get this into the best place we can.
With that, let’s turn to some overnight numbers. First, we are reporting – this looks like a United Way appeal. We should have the thing going up like the thermometer – a total of 1,896,442 fully vaccinated individuals, and with this morning’s number, we can report that we are not 40, 4-0% of our initial goal of 4.7 individuals fully vaccinated by the end of June. You may ask what our total vaccine administered number is, it’s 4,892,598. Again, that’s the number of folks who are completely covered. There’s another 3.12 million folks who have had at least their first dose. Our partners at Atlantacare, who are assisting us at our megasite in Atlantic City at the convention center have informed us that they have had appointments open at that location for the last several days and have more that they are trying to fill for the coming days, so if you’re currently eligible to be vaccinated and are looking for an open slot, please visit covid19.nj.gov/vaccine to book an appointment directly with the megasite, and by the way, we have pretty clear visibility that the Johnson & Johnson supply that went up so dramatically this week is going to be down for at least the next couple of weeks. There are available appointments now. They’re probably not going to be available next week, so jump at them if you can.
I’m also pleased to announce that Tammy and I both went online yesterday – more Tammy than myself – and made our appointments to be vaccinated at the Atlantic City megasite this Friday. We were already planning on being there to complete our circuit of visiting all six vaccination megasites, and we thought it would be a perfect opportunity to showcase a terrific location. With, as I said, as I speak, as of this moment with plenty of vaccine availability. Please also, folks, don’t forget that the beta version of our vaccine finder is also available at covid19.nj.gov/finder to help you locate a vaccination site that has an open appointment availability, and that site refreshes multiple times each hour.
Moving on, we’re reporting an additional 3,578 positive PCR and 1,067 presumed positive antigen test results today for a one-day total of 4,645. The positivity rate for the 24,717 PCR tests that were recorded on Saturday, April 3rd was 12.37%, and that is up, and not surprisingly as we see this sawtooth graph that is really stubborn. The statewide rate of transmission is currently 1.04. That’s coming down slightly. Let’s hope it continues to. Looking at our hospitals as of last night’s report, a total of 2,375 patients were being treated, 2,244 known COVID positive, another 131 awaiting tests. Number of ICU patients, 455, ventilators in use, 249. That one’s up a little bit, Judy. Any color you have on that when you give your remarks – I would love to get your sense or Eddy’s sense of that. Throughout Tuesday, 338 patients were discharged, live patients were discharged from our hospitals, but another 367 were admitted, and our hospitals reported 28 deaths, again, not confirmed, but we are also reporting with a heavy heart 45 additional confirmed deaths from COVID-19. The number of probable deaths has been revised upward. We revise this pretty much every Wednesday. It is now 2,573. As we do every day, let’s take a couple of minutes to remember three more of those we’ve recently lost.
Today we start by remembering Monroe Township’s Michael Beck. Raised in Linden and a graduate of Rutgers with a degree in accounting, he worked at the firm he co-owned for more than 50 years. Mike was a world traveler, loved the arts, was kind of all animals, played a spirited game of racquetball, and was an inveterate fan of the New York Yankees. He would’ve been happy with last night’s pounding of the Baltimore Orioles. Mike leaves behind that woman on the right, his wife of 52 years, Isa. He also leaves behind his daughter Melissa and her husband Joseph and son Jason and daughter-in-law Heidi and his two beloved grandchildren, Jacob and Benjamin. He’s also survived by his siblings Thomas and Gloria and many, many friends. I spoke to Isa, Melissa, and Jason all together on Monday. Melissa lives right nearby her mom in Monroe. Jason’s in Allentown. May God bless Michael. Watch over his memory and his family.
Next up we recall Mary Judith Clohosey. By the way, she went by Judy. Her sister said to me you’re Irish, governor. You know this. Every family in that era named their daughters – their first names, they were all Marys, so they had to go by their middle names to distinguish one from another. I thought that was a nice – so this is another Judy in our life. Judy was a Newark native who returned to the brick city following her graduation from Newark State Teacher’s College, which we all know today is Kean University. She spent more than 20 years as an educator in the Newark Public Schools. She loved her students as if they were her own and brought her passion for teaching to her classroom every single day. Judy was 70 years old. She is now reunited with her husband Paul on the left who was a retired, Pat, South Orange police officer who died at a young age back in 2003 in a traffic accident. If you look at the roles of the folks lost in the state police, there’s an uncomfortable amount of traffic accidents, a lot of them motorcycles. I don’t know in Paul’s case, God rest his soul, what the particulars were.
Judy’s survived by her brothers and sister, Luke, John, Jerry, and Marguerite. I had the great honor of speaking with Marguerite on Monday – and their families including 12 nieces and nephews and six grandnieces and grandnephews. I had a poignant conversation – Judy, again, you’ll appreciate this – with Marguerite on Monday. Judy before she died talked to her sister and her brothers and their kids about doing something special for the doctors and nurses at Overlook Hospital where she – she was there for over two months as a COVID patient, and she died before she could. Marguerite asked me as a favor in her sister’s memory if I could give them a shout-out God bless them all. We thank Judy for all that she did for the children of Newark, and may God bless her and watch over her, her memory, and her extraordinary family.
Finally for today, we honor Newark police officer Hector Moya. Hector lived in next-door Carney and was just 55 years old at the time of his passing. He was born in Brooklyn and found his way to New Jersey via Puerto Rico where he was raised. He credited his wife’s brother-in-law John, a police lieutenant, with guiding his own entry into the ranks of the New Jersey law enforcement. Hector joined the Newark police in 1998, and he served with distinction for the next 22 years, bringing his characteristic compassion, humility, and good humor to the station house and into the neighborhoods he served. Hector leaves behind his wife Alma of 30 years and their two daughters Katherine, who’s followed dad’s footsteps and is in security as a security officer, and Janet who is a nurse, and I had the great honor of speaking with both Alma and Janet on Monday.
He’s also survived by his sisters Diana, Ivon, Maribel, and brothers Antonio and David along with numerous nieces and nephews. He also leaves behind his family at the Newark police department and the many, many friends he made across the city. We thank Hector for his more than two decades of selfless service. May God bless him and watch over him and his family, and may his legacy live on through those he served alongside, through his children, and for those he leaves behind. Three more extraordinary stories from among the more than – 20,000 that can be told about those we have lost. We honor them all. For them we remember that only we have the power to end this pandemic, so when you get vaccinated, when you wear your mask, when you get tested, it’s not just about protecting you. It’s about protecting those you love and your entire community.
Now moving on, for one more shout-out before I hand things over to Judy. One of the great honors of my time as governor has been the opportunity to visit the food pantries and community kitchens across our state and to stand shoulder to shoulder with the volunteers who come together every day in the ongoing effort to stamp out our hunger and food insecurity. One of these organizations doing tremendous work is the Rescue Mission of Trenton, which in addition to feeding those in the community who need a healthy meal also offers healthcare and housing assistance, addiction treatment and job training, and as you can see from the picture on the left, it’s a place that Team Murphy knows well. This is from Thanksgiving Day 2019 – my how we have grown – when we spent our morning helping out in the kitchen. Last year the rescue mission under the leadership of that guy, a very good friend and outstanding CEO, Barrett Young, they served nearly 76,000 meals to those in need, and to be able to do even more good, they partnered with the New Jersey Economic Development Authority through its Sustain and Serve New Jersey program and received a 100,000-dollar grant.
With these funds, the rescue mission is working with local restaurants to provide and distribute meals to those in the greater community it serves so not only are families going to get a good meal, Trenton’s local restaurants will also benefit. I had the opportunity to catch up with my friend Barrett on Monday and to thank him for his continued good work. The Rescue Mission of Trenton is an invaluable community resource. Check them out. As he and I discussed a very straightforward website, rescuemissionoftrenton.org. Did not take a long time to come up with that one, rescuemissionoftrenton.org. The Rescue Mission of Trenton is one of many community partners who have seen an unprecedented need for their services over the past year. If you have the time or the ability, I encourage you to volunteer some of your time at a pantry or kitchen in your community. The only way we get through this is if we all pull forward together. Selflessness will get us to the finish line much faster and in much better shape than selfishness every could. With that, please help me welcome the woman on my right who needs no introduction, the Commissioner of the Department of Health, Judy Persichilli.
Commissioner of Health Judith Persichilli: Thank you, Governor. Excuse me. Good afternoon. The state’s vaccination program continues to progress in our state. The vaccination rollout effort prioritizes preventing severe illness and death and supporting essential societal functioning. This is especially important given the levels of hospitalizations and deaths we are still experiencing in our state. Hospitalizations remain high, and we are seeing increases primarily among younger individuals, which wasn’t what we saw previously. New Jersey ranks third in hospitalizations per hundred thousand in the United States, and we rank seventh in deaths per hundred thousand in the United States per day. Unfortunately, our deaths still remain in double digits. The statistics demonstrate that this virus is unrelenting, and we are still in the midst of this battle. We cannot let our guard down. Despite the increasing number of vaccinations, we must remain vigilant.
Core to our vaccine effort is ensuring equitable access to vaccine, particularly to under-served populations and communities of color. As part of that initiative, we are working with churches and local leaders to get individuals to community-based vaccination sites in ten cities that have the highest social vulnerability index. More than 54,000 doses have been administered at these sites. The FEMA community vaccination center in Newark, which has the capacity to vaccinate 6,000 individuals per day is making great progress with more than 44,300 vaccines administered at this center that opened last week. 41% of the individuals vaccinated at this site are Hispanic/Latino and 14% are black, non-Hispanic
. Overall, we are seeing increases in our minority populations receiving vaccinations throughout our state, but we have a long way to go. The race ethnicity breakdown is as follows: white 56.5; Hispanic/Latino 9.52%, that’s about 4.5 points up from early February; black is 5.8%, that’s about 2.5 points increase since early February; and Asian is 8.8%, which is a 3 point increase from early February. Today, New Jersey’s COVID Alert NJ Exposure Notification System will expand to allow more residents to protect themselves, their loved ones, and their communities.
iPhone users will now be able to benefit from the exposure notification technology, even if they choose not to download the COVID NJ Alert app by simply turning on the setting in their iPhone. Apple will be sending out push notifications to users over the next few days. More than 659,000 individuals have downloaded the app already, and more individuals who download or enable COVID Alert NJ, the more effective the tool will be to notify New Jerseyans if they have been exposed. Robust contact tracing is critically important, especially as this week’s COVID-19 Activity Level Index, the CALI score, shows the state is still throughout in high activity. We are all orange. You may recall two months ago, we were moving half of our counties to moderate, to yellow. We are back to orange. We are still not seeing a decline in this activity in our state.
Throughout the COVID-19 response and now as we carry out our vaccination effort, New Jersey has benefited significantly from the giving spirit of residents through volunteerism. April is National Volunteer Recognition month, and we want to thank the New Jersey Medical Reserve Corp for their valuable service. Many of these medical professionals have been boots on the ground since the pandemic started volunteering their time and their service, and we thank them immensely for their efforts.
Onto my daily report, there is one new report of multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children. There are now 114 cumulative cases in our state. Two of those children are hospitalized. We are reporting a total of 827 CDC variants of concern; 806 of these variants, these reports, are the UK variant B117, which has been found in every county in our state. Additionally, we have nine reports of the Brazilian variant, P1, two reports of the South African variant, B1.351, and ten reports of the California variants, which are classified at two levels, B1.427 and B1.429. In terms of tracking variants, we are currently screening about 2% of the cases in our state, and we expect that to increase to 5% next week, but as these numbers show, we must make the assumption, particularly that the UK variant is throughout our state in high numbers.
At the state’s veterans’ homes, there are no new cases among residents, and at the state psychiatric hospitals, we have two new positive cases at the Ann Klein Hospital. The percent positivity as of April 3rd is 12.37 in the state, 13.07 in the northern part of the state, 12.18 in the central, and 10.82 in the southern part of the state. So that concludes my report. As always, stay safe. Please continue to mask up, social distance, stay home when you’re sick, get tested at over 400 testing sites that we have open and waiting for you, get vaccinated, and remember for each other, for us all, please take the call, and download the COVID Alert NJ app. Thank you.
Governor Phil Murphy: Judy, thank you. A couple of quick things. Number one, I think the CDC director said this morning, the UK variant is now the dominant strain in America, and we have no reason to believe that isn’t the case here, and so that’s a word to the wise, notwithstanding the count that you report. We assume it’s all over the place. Secondly, I went back to the FEMA site yesterday in Newark. That thing is a machine, absolute machine, and they’ve got like a tote board on the side that they sort of clock through whenever they add another thousand. It’s really incredible and members of your team, Pat, the state police, healthcare professionals, but an incredible presence of US military. You ask the men and women there where you’re from, you hear stories. They’re all over the country, and in some cases, they’re coming back home. They’re from New Jersey. It’s just an extraordinary – it’s a machine.
Then secondly, you and I were at the Port not that long after, and that’s a closed POD in coordination with the International Longshoremen’s Association and the New York Shipping Association. I encouraged them to change their name to New York/New Jersey Shipping Association as 89% of the port traffic is in New Jersey, but we’ll leave that for another day. And CVS, right? Then you and I asked the CVS folks where are they from. They had two or three from Jersey, but they had somebody from Arizona, somebody from Rhode Island, and that was an example. There aren’t a lot of closed PODs. There are probably 15 or 20 of them in the state, but that’s an example. You’ve got to be associated with the port, and the reason why we all thought that made sense is because the concentration of where they all go to work. They’re all basically right there. So a closed POD was ideal for them. I had been with NJ Transit in between yesterday acknowledging the first delivery of a great efficient dual power locomotive. I say that only because NJ Transit’s got a couple of closed PODs that met for similar reasons that made sense. So in any event, it was great seeing you there yesterday, another good visit to a vaccination site.
So happy 26th anniversary, Pat, on your graduation, and we do not have a slide with your final report card, but we’ll leave that for another day. Great to have you. Anything you got on any other matters? Again, we want to continue in all seriousness, get the next generation to choose to become a New Jersey State Trooper to fill the shoes that you and your colleagues have set before them, please.
State Police Superintendent Col. Patrick Callahan: Thank you, Governor. The ROIC has received no notifications with regard to any executive order violations, and again, that – what we’re dubbing a call to service, I think Judy talked about it early on in this pandemic when we were wondering if nurses and doctors were going to step up, and I think this is a phenomenal opportunity when you see what law enforcement, particularly our emergency management troopers, have been involved with in all aspects of this response and recovery effort. That period is only opened for 16 more days. It closes on April 23rd. It’s njtrooper.com. Myself, the attorney general, all of our partners have been in a full court press since we opened it up a few weeks ago. The numbers are trending a little bit higher, but we would like to see as many young men and women sign up as this is the first step in a process, to the Governor’s point, to be the next generation of troopers in our next century of service.
It goes quick. It’s hard to believe that it was 26 years ago that I raised my right hand with my '94 classmates, but here we are hoping to pass on that baton of service to those throughout New Jersey that want to serve our citizens. Again, njtrooper.com, it is a career and a profession that you would not regret having. Thanks, Gov.
Governor Phil Murphy: Well said, and again, it’s a career of great responsibility but great reward, and there’s nothing like – I look every time over at you with envy at that patch on your sleeve. The lack of compliance violations does not mean, folks, that we’re not out there in one form or another, whether it’s at the local or county level, or the ABC. We were anecdotally out again taking advantage of good weather, out to eat last night, outdoors. The places we’re going, people seem to get it. They get it. They seem to understand what the rules of the road are in terms of the proprietors, and I think overwhelmingly, customers get it as well, and they do the right things. We just need everybody to continue doing that. This is not forever and always. We haven’t said that in a while. We can see the light at the end of the tunnel here, even notwithstanding these variants, but our vigilance, getting vaccinated, and our vigilance on doing the basic stuff is going to get us to that light sooner than later.
I think we’ll be back to our regular schedule as we’ve been. Thursday will be virtual, and at least in my case, you guys are welcome to join me because I’m going down actually, with Tammy, to get our shots. We were going to visit Atlantic City in any event to go to the Convention Center. Tammy had been there. I had not, so we agreed we’d go back together. So we’ll be reporting from you down there on the road, and I’m looking forward to that visit in a big way.
I think we'll start over here. Is that – Colleen, is that you?
Colleen O'Dea, NJ Spotlight: That's me.
Governor Phil Murphy: It's hard to –
Colleen O'Dea, NJ Spotlight: I like to surprise you every time I show up.
Governor Phil Murphy: There you go. Good to see you. Thanks for coming.
Colleen O'Dea, NJ Spotlight: Good to see you. Thank you, Governor. Given the existing supply/demand imbalance, should the public feel confident that there will be enough vaccines available to support the eligibility expansion to all residents age 16 and over? You noted that J&J is going to be down at least next week. If Atlantic City has big supplies there, should there be some thought about moving some of those further north or to other places? With New Jersey one of the five states that makes up almost half of the country's new COVID cases, epidemiologists are saying that more vaccines should go to areas with the most cases. Will you be asking the White House to send New Jersey more doses based on our high case count?
Then I have two from viewers. You've made it clear you expect all public schools to be open in the fall to full –
Governor Phil Murphy: This is democracy at work, folks.
Colleen O'Dea, NJ Spotlight: Yeah.
Governor Phil Murphy: Please.
Colleen O'Dea, NJ Spotlight: They write into our live stream and –
Governor Phil Murphy: Send it right through, right?
Colleen O'Dea, NJ Spotlight: We get them. You want schools fully open in-person instruction in the fall. What about New Jersey colleges and universities? Finally, is there any evidence that folks who are fully vaccinated in New Jersey have gotten sick or are getting sick, showing up at hospitals? Any more sense of how long the protection may be from the vaccine? Thank you.
Governor Phil Murphy: Okay, so let me – I'll give a couple thoughts and clearly on some of these, the two folks to my right are going to address that. Supply/demand is this, Colleen. We've said this, and I think the analogy was not mine. The analogy is a good one. When they board the plane, they don't wait for the last person in each group to get on the plane til they open up the next group. It's basically a series of overlapping waves. We're doing this because we want to give people some peace of mind, some certainty. The ability on that date would be to get an appointment, not necessarily get your vaccine on that appointment, and again, our objective is 4.7 million people by the end of June, so there's going to be a couple of months there to allow you to do that.
I want to reiterate – so that's my general answer to you. I want to reiterate as well that J&J has clearly had some challenges We read probably about the – I'm sure you read about the Baltimore experience where they had to throw out 15 million vaccines. We don't have the causality but our guess is that it's got to be somewhat related to that. Judy reminds me that all of our J&J supplies so far have come from the Netherlands, so they've subcontracted production in a bunch of place. I notice this morning Moderna had announced a new subcontractor for theirs. We think this is the right step to take, but I want to remind everybody, you're not going to get your vaccine, everybody, on April 19th. Is going to be the – you can sign up. There'll be a process. We wanted to give people certainty and peace of mind.
We're on with the White House all the time. I was on with Jeff Zients on Saturday. He and I spoke again on Monday. Our team, Judy, speaks all the time. We have proven to be really good. We're probably the best big state – in fact, not probably. We are the best big state in getting supplies into people's arms. If you look at the states that are ahead of us, all of them have a lot fewer people. What we don't have enough of is supply, and that's something we're going to continue to pound away on. They've done a great job, by the way This is not an adversarial. This is a very constructive relationship, but there is a supply/demand reality for them as well.
Again, on schools opening in the fall, we want to reiterate something. We expect schools to be open Monday through Friday full-on in-person, but we're not putting people's lives at risk, so we know guidance between now and whenever the right date is to make sure if by going to school, for whatever reason, given what the public health reality looks like in September. On colleges, we have not extended it to that, but it would be my guess that everybody's going to be back to school would be my guess. I'd be surprised if they're not.
Then the last question, I got to defer to the right. Is there any evidence of anybody who's fully vaxed getting sick again and/or is there any more color to the question which I think is rightful and I think to which no one knows the answer as we sit here unless Eddy and Judy correct me, and that is how long does this last for you? How much time do you have on the clock in terms of protection? Eddy, do you want to jump in on either of those? Good to have you.
Department of Health Medical Advisor Eddy Bresnitz: Thank you, Governor. I'm not aware of cases of what we call breakthrough disease, which is defined by those who've been fully vaccinated and subsequently get sick. We know from the pivotal trials, the Phase 3 trials, that vaccines like the Moderna and the Pfizer vaccine, for example, they prevented – and the Johnson vaccine prevented severe disease and hospitalizations and deaths. When there – and there will be cases of breakthrough disease if not in New Jersey, throughout the country and elsewhere. They're not likely to be very sick and hospitalized. We may've had some cases reported. We'll have to ask our communicable disease service about that. I do want to distinguish those from fully vaccinated individuals for those who might've gotten the first dose of a two-dose series and maybe were already infected when they got their first dose and then got their – became ill before they got their second dose.
As far as the durability's concerned, Pfizer actually I think a couple weeks ago reported that with a six-month follow-up that in fact they show that the effectiveness of the vaccine or the efficacy of those who were enrolled in clinical trials extended through that six-month period. I did hear actually on the radio the Moderna also stated that because they were a little bit behind Pfizer, but I couldn't – I actually looked on their website today and there was no press release about that, so I'm not sure where the media got that information. I wouldn't be surprised if they have the same durability of at least six months because it's the same technology, the mRNA. That's good news, but if you ask beyond six months for at least those two vaccines, time will tell.
Governor Phil Murphy: I was asked in an interview yesterday, Eddy, and Judy, you and I have talked about this, whether or not we would keep our distribution networks basically in place, reminded me of the field medical station conversations we had. I said we have no choice but to keep the distribution that we've built. Remember, we built distribution way out ahead of the supply. In fact, it's still out ahead of the supply, but it was way ahead of the supply when it was being built up by Judy and team in December. We'll have no choice but to keep it ready to go. I mean, I'm not sure we could go from a Monday to a Tuesday but this has to continue to be turnkey because of the very question you asked and Eddy answered, which is we just don't know whether or not we're going to be back – one end of the spectrum is your annual flu shot that I get every October versus a tetanus, or a once-a-lifetime, one-a-ten-years. Thank you. Good to see you, by the way. Matt, nice to see you.
Matt Arco, NJ.com: Good afternoon, Governor. Governor, California set a June 15 as a date to fully open the economy if hospitalizations remain low and the vaccine supply remains steady. Are you considering something similar in New Jersey considering you've put hospitalizations at the top thing that we're looking at? Will the state cancel spring standardized testing this year in light of the US Department of Education's letter this morning? The letter appears to say that the state does not need a waiver for standardized testing because it's a plan for testing with different assessments in the fall is insufficient. Taking one more bite out of this apple, piggybacking off Colleen, I understand that we're still talking about a big supply/demand imbalance, but noticing today that there's the two megasites in south Jersey have a much larger supply than it looks like the demand is there. What about that shifting to areas of more populated parts of the state? Finally, a group of undocumented immigrants came to Trenton this morning and began a hunger strike in light of not being included in the state budget. Is there any more discussion about including unemployment or stimulus payments in the budget for these folks? Should the state in general be offering COVID relief to these workers?
Governor Phil Murphy: Thank you, Matt. Let me jump in on the last one. I only heard to his and God bless them. There's no – I've said this before, but there should be no reason that gets us to a hunger strike, so I will keep them in our prayers. I hope – listen, I would hope that we can figure something out as it relates to the American Rescue Plan money. I can't promise that, but it's something that we're really trying to address. We're not going to get to where we want to get to unless we bring everybody along on that journey.
On the megasite availability, you're absolutely right. I saw the same numbers that you did. I'd like to think we had the same supply next week and that this will be an ongoing challenge or an ongoing rich problem to have. I'm here to say based on what we're hearing, the J&J numbers are going down dramatically from this week to next for everybody and those appointments are going to dry up, so it's going to reach its – the water – whatever that phrase is, will reach its natural level. I realize I'm going in reverse, so forgive me.
Yeah, I think this is generally good news with the caveat of a couple of communities. This is the waiver or the granting of the waiver from the Biden Administration. Basically allows us to take a test that we were going to administer statewide in the fall, something called Start Strong, and use that as the data that the Biden Administration – and I think quite rightfully wants to collect including on items of learning loss, as do we. That's a test – my colleagues will correct me if I'm wrong – that we administered last fall as well, so that's a good thing We'll have one year to the next. For the most part, that in fact, does mean what you've suggested in your question, that we'll be able to put aside on the shelf, at least this year – this is a one-time waiver as I understand it, so at least for the spring assessments this year, we'll be able to put them to the side and focus on the Start Strong for the fall.
I will say this: because it's a one-year, I would fully expect that the spring assessments next year will come back in. The caveat – and I want to make sure I am able to dig into this with the team in the detail I need to be. The populations that the Start Strong does not work for are both special ed and English as a second language students. For whatever reason, that particular testing, that particular approach, does not work for those communities. Those communities, to the best of my knowledge as I sit here today, will need to get their assessments done this spring. I can't tell you off the top of my head what percentage of kids that represents, but those are two communities that I think will be the exception.
I saw the same announcement you did, Governor Newsom saying that we'd be fully open for business in California on June 15th assuming certain things. Listen, I hope we are. I think it's – on April 7th, it's too early to make that call, particularly when your hearken back to Judy's rankings of where New Jersey is right now in America, and this is a little bit what we saw. I think we're seeing sort of part two of a similar reality but with a lot more knowledge and a lot more capacities and behavior that we know works that we saw last spring. The virus last spring hit greater New York, ravaged us, particularly in the commuting counties. We got out ahead of it. We crashed it. We broke the curve. I think you're seeing a similar reality with the variants. That's what we're seeing right now. The good news, as I said, we got vaccine capacities, knowledge, behavior that we did not have last year. I can't make that statement today. I don't think, Judy, you would make it today, but do we think we're in a – as I say, I've been saying this about Memorial Day. Is the state in a dramatically different and better place? I, as I sit here today, continue to believe it will be. Thank you. Good to see you.
Alex, how are you?
Alex Zdan, News 12 New Jersey: Good afternoon.
Governor Phil Murphy: Good afternoon.
Alex Zdan, News 12 New Jersey: You had said last week that you would follow the federal government's guidance on whether or not to issue a vaccine passport in the state. With the White House coming out against that idea yesterday, do you also feel that that idea is a dead letter in New Jersey? I also wanted to ask you about your Memorial Day goal. What do you think will be open? What do you think will be changed around Memorial Day, or is it just a hazy, different reality? Lastly for you but I'd also like to ask Dr. Bresnitz about what data he thinks needs to be in what place in order for the state to reopen. Lastly, are you on pause in your decisions to make reopening in the state, or are you thinking at least about things that might change/reopen within the next week or two? If so, what might that be, or is it just simply in your mind, we're not going anywhere?
Governor Phil Murphy: Yeah, all good questions. On the passport, as I said, I've been open-minded to it but I worry about the inequities that that brings, frankly. We've talked about government. I can't remember if you and I have talked about government-issued IDs in the context of voting. I think you got to be very careful about this. I'm open-minded. I think you said dead letter; it's not a dead letter for me, but I think we have to be very careful in terms of how we think about it. Now I'm not of the opinion that government, Big Brother getting into your life – that doesn't bother me. Government in the right way – and we've seen a lot of this over the past year. The right kind of government is exactly what we need in a lot of situations, but I do worry about inequities, etc.
These kind of all – although you did ask Eddy for one of them, so I'll throw it back to him in one sec. Are we on pause versus we're thinking? We're thinking constantly and we're looking at things constantly In fact, we're going to tweak, I believe, indoor sports. We decided not to put them in the remarks. Am I right? We're still going to do that? Parimal, we're going to tweak some indoor sports adjustments because we just think it – the current capacities are anomalous with the realities that we have, but we're constantly thinking. When I say don't expect anything meaningful soon, that's previewing our thinking that as long as we're in the thick of this right now, I think the overall capacities, particular things like dining, indoor gyms, etc.
What do I think it looks like? I think assuming the vaccine supply is coming at the pace that we need it, we look like we'll cross 5 million shots tomorrow or the next day would be my guess, Judy, so by the end of this week. I think depending on what you assess your balance between J&J supply in terms of projecting versus the two-shot Moderna, Pfizer, you probably need to get to the 4.7. I'm just putting in my own mind 8.4 million shots in arms to get to 4.7 million people. I'm not sure we're there by Memorial Day but we're well along in that objective. Again, I'm assuming a million J&J is the total that we'll get over the next couple of months and then you'd basically take a million out of 4.7, 3.7, double it, 7.4 plus the one, you get to 8.4. That's how I back into that.
I would bet assuming we keep the variants under control that we'll have capacities that will be more liberal. I'll be you we're not going to be turning our back on face coverings by Memorial Day, indoors at least. I don't see that. I just don't see it. My guess is we're still going to be preaching the basics, face coverings, social distancing, wash your hands with soap and water, take yourself off the field if you either don't feel well or you've been exposed, get tested at the right point.
If you're Gavin Newsom, Eddy, what numbers are you looking for to open things up either there or here?
Department of Health Medical Advisor Eddy Bresnitz: Well, there are no absolute –
Governor Phil Murphy: The question may be associated with a recall for Governor Newsom, by the way. I'm not suggesting, Eddy, that you're considering changing residence to run against the governor.
Department of Health Medical Advisor Eddy Bresnitz: There's no specific metric that you would look at to make a decision on whether to reopen or not and really, reopening is not a yes or no issue. It's really more a sliding scale that can go up or down. I think what we have not talked about recently, anyway, is the recognition that the coronavirus has a seasonality to it. We saw that last summer. After our peak in April and many parts of the country, we were at a very nice, low level. That was because of many things but one is because people went outdoor. The Governor's mentioned this several times about getting outdoors, which will reduce the risk of people infecting each other, those who aren't protected.
There's so many more factors now that we have to consider, the variants, the degree of vaccination of individuals in the country, in New Jersey, the durability as we mentioned a moment ago, whether people are going to continue the mitigation strategies of masking and social distancing even with vaccination. Pandemic fatigue – I mean, I could go – there are even more factors, so it's really hard to way. I wouldn't want to basically make any prediction of when it would be. I think that we are going to continue to have to do these mitigation strategies, and I worry about the fall. I know we're talking about the spring, but I'm already looking ahead six months from now, so what's going to happen when we come back into the fall?
If we have more people vaccinated, if we have children vaccinated or at least adolescents by the fall, that'll make a big difference as well. Again, as I said before, time will tell. I said that in terms of durability and time will tell in terms of when we can reopen fully or partially.
Governor Phil Murphy: I also think a very good part of that answer in particular is that this is going to be a gradual – whatever we do is going to be incremental and gradual. Thank you. Dave, let's go to you. Good afternoon.
David Matthau, NJ 101.5: Hi, Governor. We've been talking about the drop in the number of J&J vaccine doses that we're going to get at least next week and I believe the following week as well. Is this a concern with the fact that we're also opening up vaccine opportunities for more and more people? This is a big unknown and we were counting a lot on J&J. With New Jersey now having one of the highest infection rates in the nation as has also been pointed out – and this is a double piggyback on Colleen's question – it has been suggested by several health experts around the country and the world, I believe, that states like New Jersey where we have a particularly high infection rate should be getting more doses, higher supplies. I know, Governor, you said you continue to constantly talk to the White House and so on and so forth. Perhaps, Commissioner, do you think we should be pushing a little more on this front and making this argument? It's not only for our protection; it will protect, if we get more doses, the region and then if we take that to the next step, the nation as well. Again, there was some discussion about this in your comments, Commissioner, but in terms of the efforts – and Governor, maybe you want to weigh in on this as well – to get our minority communities vaccinated, are we doing anything different? How are we doing in terms of these efforts that are ongoing? Is there a PR campaign to try to get information into people’s homes and have them talking and thinking about this and so on and so forth? Thank you.
Governor Phil Murphy: Dave, let me start, and Judy, you should come in. I don’t have a whole lot more to add to my answer to Colleen’s question. Remember, we’re opening up – we opened up a population on Monday. That feels like that process again. In fairness, we have a lot of doses this week, so that process, the supply/demand imbalance as it relates to that opening, feels so far so good. We’re going to open up again to everybody 16 and up a week from Monday, and again, remember, our objective is to get the 4.7 million people by the end of June, so the short – the J&J, I believe this to be the case, Judy, and hope that this is the case as I know you do – this is a short-term issue with them. It is not a permanent, long-term – at least we’re not being – we’ve not gotten any indication that it is, so giving people peace of mind, giving them some sense of how the road ahead looks, we think there’s a lot of value to that. By the way, Tammy and I have preregistered, and we went on yesterday, and so there’s a process that you begin to go through, and I think that gives us a lot of good feeling.
I don’t know that Judy’s got any more to add than I’ve got, but she’s welcome to jump in on this as well. We make the case every day that we want more supply, and we’ll continue to. We make it through different voices, different channels, including yours truly. Judy does with the colleagues in the White House. We all do, and we’ll continue to make that. The premise of your question is very valid. We think we deserve it, and we’ll continue to make it. I think the progress with communities of color and seniors, the needle is going in the right direction, I think especially for seniors. It’s a multi-pronged strategy. There’s no one piece of this, and Judy you should weigh in, but it’s mobile vans. It’s houses of worship. It’s getting role models to visibly get vaccinated. It’s putting locations into communities like West New York with my friend Gabe Rodriguez, the mayor there, explicitly going in there, the FEMA site in Newark explicitly. Mayor Ras Baraka in Newark working all the levers that he’s got at his disposal to get the word out, to get people directed. I’d say it’s a multi-pronged effort. Anything you want to add to that, Judy?
Commissioner of Health Judith Persichilli: I couldn’t agree more. It’s really focus and a multi-pronged effort as the Governor said and bringing in those trusted community officials and professionals to help, so for example, Dr. Thomas and Dr. Damali Campbell up in Newark have volunteered to open up a clinic in Dr. Thomas’s office, I think on three Sundays in April and May. That will bring people in. They’ll be role models for other members of the community, but we are trying to get into – deep into the communities, but we can’t do it by ourselves. It’s really taking a lot of effort with the elected officials, the community trusted advisors, and the religious communities, and they’ve been wonderful standing up with us to improve.
Governor Phil Murphy: Amen. Pat’s got one other angle here because we are the most diverse state in America, and that means we speak a lot of languages.
Superintendent of State Police Col. Pat Callahan: That’s right. Thank you. Judy and I were just on with Mayor Baraka, Director O’Hara, Reverend Louise, Scott Roundtree. Just this week fliers about the NJIT site in seven different languages all around Newark to another call to action. The other thing that Newark is doing in a phenomenal fashion is getting call lists of names and phone numbers, and our call center members are reaching out to individuals not the other way around so that in a few days Reverend Roundtree had 3600 names to us, and we had calls out to minority populations to register and make appointments in the same phone call. That’s really making a difference up in Newark.
Governor Phil Murphy: Pat, I know Louise. You’d better make those calls. Let’s ripping a page out of the playbook that you applied to the 75 and up and now the 65 and up. It isn’t enough to have the thing built, but you’ve got to literally reach out to people, reach into communities. It’s a journey. We’re not where we want to be yet, but it’s a journey. Thank you, David. Daniel, good afternoon.
Daniel Munoz, NJ BIZ: Hi, Governor. Good afternoon. Critics complained about the borrowing, that it was unnecessary, but is it your view that given this zero-interest environment the cost of borrowing was low enough that the risk is minimal or that the potential benefits outweigh the risk? There’s major concern from LOS and budget law makers about a fiscal cliff beginning in FY ’23 once the bond money and federal relief money is spent. How would you prevent that shortfall with taxes or budget cuts need to be an option? What won’t you spend the American Rescue Plan money on, and would you spend it to repay any of the state’s debt? Would your administration be unilaterally handling this like with the CARES Act or would the legislator have time to review, approve or suggest what they want the money to be spent on? I know there’s been criticisms from both sides of the aisle that they didn’t really have that option.
Regarding these scenarios you’ve presented over the past week, there were some pretty serious projections for the second wave, and New Jersey never even came close to that. Why did that happen, and bearing that in mind, why should New Jerseyans believe that these new projections are legitimate? Also, just with J&J, do you have the breakdown of what the doses were this week compared to the next couple weeks? Thank you.
Governor Phil Murphy: Judy, if you – while I answer a couple of these if you want to get the J&J if you don’t mind. Let me go – on the first three questions, let me go in reverse order. What won’t we spend the money on? I think it’s too early to answer that, Daniel, because we don’t have federal guidance, so we need the federal guidance first. That’s really the most important piece of this, and we’re going to spend it, I hope, both prudently but for what the money’s intended to do, which is impact in one form or another, direct or indirect, from the pandemic. I would come back to you in terms of what I wouldn’t do. We need to know what we can first, and then that’ll help create that answer.
I think on the fiscal cliff, that’s a question since literally I had my hand on the Bible. Since day one, there’s always this discussion it’s not just this year’s budget. It’s what’s it going to look like the year after, and I think that’s probably a rightful narrative based on the way things used to be done in this state which is plug in a lot of holes with Band-Aids and barely make it to June 30th at midnight and then have to wake up the next day on July 1st and figure out okay, what other rabbits can we pull out of our hat. I think that question is out of a habit of that awful behavior. What are the one-shots that you can track down? Look at the settlement of the tobacco litigation and what we did with that, which basically was to fill up budget holes. I don’t have a particular comment on fiscal ’23. I think there’s a lot of unanimity around the fact that we’re probably – we don’t have a lot of appetite, trust me, to tax a lot more stuff.
We still have a workforce. Not necessarily I say this as a point of pride. Our workforce today is smaller than it was when I had my hand on the Bible, so we’re already running the state, I think, efficiently. I think we can be more efficient on that. Jared will – and Judy and Pat will echo the fact that department heads were asked for a lot of cuts, some of which we took, and a lot of which we said you know what, it feels like that’s cutting too close to the bone and cutting services. We want to be responsible about this. We do not want to blow it all like drunken sailors and then have to wake up in any year, fiscal ’23 or otherwise, and say oh, my God, now what do we do. That’s just not who we are, and that’s not who we’re going to become. We also, by the way, God forbid, need to grow the economy, and it turns out we are. The pandemic, I think, has accelerated, believe, it or not some of that because of people coming into New Jersey that probably may not have come in at least as soon in their lives, but we need to grow – we need to grow the economy, and that’s another habit from the old days. We accepted the fact that we were not growing, that our revenues were stale, and that you had a fixed box that you had to fit everything into. Well, the reality is there's no reason why we can't grow at a significant clip in the years ahead, and that's the best thing we can do to give us flexibility on continuing to provide services, provide property tax relief, etc.
I'll get to your first question now. I think I've gone in reverse order. I think we sold the bonds on November 18th, if I'm not mistaken. What was the world like – and by the way, we got approval to sell the bonds many months before. What was the world like then? I just want to remind everybody of that. Donald Trump claimed that he had won the election and was going to litigate that literally and figuratively right up until inauguration day. We had two run-offs in Georgia that were not taking place until January 5th, and you had an avowed leader in the Republican caucus, Mitch McConnell, saying there was no way there would be any state and local aid. I noticed somebody yesterday said that to say that we overreacted or something was the epic understatement of the year.
Let me just reiterate a couple of other data points that I think are important to note. I mentioned as part of your earlier question, we still, as we sit here, don't have federal guidance on how we can spend the federal money. Tell that we overstated the impact of the pandemic to any of the 2 million people who lost their jobs, several hundred thousands of whom have lost more than one job in the past 13 months. Tell that we overreacted to a small business owner, 30% of which have failed, or a restaurant owner, or a working mom trying to make both ends meet as it relates to childcare or families that are in arrears on utilities, rent, mortgage payments. This thing had epic consequences. I haven't heard so much Monday morning quarterbacking since Howard Cosell retired. With all due respect, we did what we thought we had to do and will continue to do just that every single say we come to work.
I think I left off one – two parts of your question. I didn't mean to give you a Nikita Khrushchev answer to that one. I was going to pull my shoe off. Dave's the only one here who acknowledges the fact that I could've pounded the table with one of my shoes, but more on that later. Any color on the J&J doses? I assume the second wave in January wasn't as bad as we thought was for the very reason that we've talked about today, that folks did the right things, that we kept a lid on our activities Folks wore a lot of these. They socially distanced. They did the right things both proprietors as well as folks by the millions, but any color on that? Do you want to hit J&J first, Judy?
Commissioner of Health Judith Persichilli: I think we have to realize that in January, we did have a surge, but we were prepared for it. The hospitals had PPE. They had staffing in place. We had ventilators. It was a much different reality for everything that we learned the year before. Then we came down. February was looking okay and now we're back up again. As far as doses, the variability in doses is a reality, and it's very difficult to deal with. Totally this week, we got about between J&J, Moderna, and Pfizer 550,000 doses. That's first and second, so that then only doses starts people on the journey, about 200,000. Next week, we think we're going to get about 466,000. J&J drops from 131,000 doses this week to 15,600 next week, and the week after that, as far as we know, that may go down to 5,200.
Governor Phil Murphy: So that's a drop of somewhere between 90 and 95%.
Commissioner of Health Judith Persichilli: Yeah, so it's very hard to manage that with the demand, and we have over 770 PODs, and we want to make sure they stay active so people are close to a vaccine site. It's a all-day, every day event.
Governor Phil Murphy: Judy, it's fair to say two things. One is Moderna and Pfizer have been pretty consistent. Moderna was flat for a bunch of weeks, right?
Commissioner of Health Judith Persichilli: They're flat, but they're flat at a consistent level.
Governor Phil Murphy: Flat at a consistent level, and by the way, all three of these vaccines are game-changers, right? There's no – we love them all and we'll take them all. If you're going to have big variability – I don't want to put words in your mouth – you'd rather have it in the one-dose vaccine as opposed to the two-dose vaccines, right? If you're going to be up and down, you don't have to worry about whether or not you've got the second appointment stockpile, which we have been able to do consistently for Moderna and Pfizer.
Real quick with the clock, Eddy, any comments?
Department of Health Medical Advisor Eddy Bresnitz: I think there was one question there about whether people should believe that new projections are legitimate. Did you ask that, if that had to do with modeling? I just want to be clear. Modeling is not about making a prediction, per se. It's about making – looking at data to help with planning in case there is going to be the worst and secondly, to be able to provide to the public, to communicate to the public about what they need to be doing to avoid the possibility of the worst-case scenario That's the basis of modeling and not about really predicting.
Governor Phil Murphy: Yeah, and we didn't repeat them today, but there are very specific assumptions which underpin – we're good, Daniel – each of the three scenarios like post-holiday behavior and therefore cases that come out of holiday behavior. Thank you for those. Nikita, last but not least.
Nikita Biryukov, New Jersey Globe: On borrowing, so as Daniel, I believe, said in his question, the OLS says the money is not needed and while you listed a bunch of reasons for why it may have made sense contemporaneously, I'm wondering whether now some months in the future with a very different fiscal outlook whether you believe or whether you will regret borrowing those $4 million. Separately, I'm wondering if you have any sort of update on the Mandatory Minimums bill. I believe that's been on your desk for about 40 days now, a little bit less than that. Then in December, you said Congressman Matt Gaetz was not welcome in New Jersey after he appeared maskless at a fundraiser where masks were in short supply. I'm wondering if there's any indication yet of how the state intends to deal with tourism to its beaches or perhaps to a golf course in Bedminister from the Congressman or otherwise this summer?
Governor Phil Murphy: I think I understood the – he's still not welcome here, period. I don't have any more color on that. He's less welcome than he was before and he wasn't welcome to begin with.
No update on Mandatory Minimums but based on your clock, you're suggesting that we have to make a decision on that very soon. I'm sorry?
Nikita Biryukov, New Jersey Globe: There's no quorum until May, so not really.
Governor Phil Murphy: Yeah, but no update on that. I've got really – I've got nothing to – again, the – with all due respect to the Monday morning quarterbacking, we make the decisions at the time we make them based on the best information we have. Somebody also raised their – why did you not issue callable debt. That was another one we got. This happens to be an area I know something about. Callable debt costs you more money and when you've got other alternatives, by the way, to potentially defense debt, that's still on the table, which is much higher interest rate. That's an option. In our budget, I was reminded by Zakiya Smith-Ellis this morning that we've got, I think, $400 million of debt avoidance in our budget, things like the South Jersey Windport, SDA projects. That's another option that you can forgo and say money as a result of that. We make the best call we can at the time that we make those calls, and that's what we're going to stick with.
I hope our economy continues to grow. We'll give you one more only because you didn't have a PowerPoint presentation, unlike Daniel.
Nikita Biryukov, New Jersey Globe: Sure, so I just want to make sure then. You share the Senate President's regret on the borrowing?
Governor Phil Murphy: I don't – I wasn't answering specifically to the Senate President. We do what we do at the time we do it, and we use – we base it on the information we've got and we make the best decisions we can based on that information. Again, the list of needs in this state that even our very, I believe, good budget – and I want to give Paul Sarlo a particular shout-out. I thought he ran a great hearing yesterday on the budget. The needs continue to be significant. We're not out of this thing yet, and I think you've heard it from a health crisis standpoint, and I can tell you from an economic standpoint and from a pain and suffering at the individual level, we have a lot of mouths still to feed, a lot of lives to get healthy, to get back up on their feet, and we'll stay at it as long as we can.
Thank you all. With that, I'm going to double-mask. I got both of them, Judy, today. Judy and Eddy, thank you. Eddy, you with us next week or not? You are. You got one more week, and then we're going to lose you for a few, I know, so thank you again for everything you do. Judy, as always. Pat, on the 26th anniversary of that graduation, njtroopers.com. Sign up, folks. Jared, Parimal, Mahan, to all of you. Again, folks, stay at it. You got – we've had a number of questions about vaccine availability. There is availability. I've seen it with my own eyes in Atlantic City. There's availability in Camden County. I believe is there availability in Gloucester at the megasite, in the Gloucester County megasite. Go on and get yourself vaccinated. We're going to have a couple choppy weeks based on the fed's supply as it relates to dose supply, so take advantage of the little bit of extra capacity that we've got this week. Please continue to do the right thing. Please try to live your life as much outside as you can. We cannot thank you enough, everybody, by the millions for doing the right thing day in and day out. We know you're tired of it. we're tired of it. We don't blame you, but we can see the light at the end of the tunnel, and we're going to get to a different and better place sooner than we all think assuming we all continue to row and work together. Thank you, folks. Bless you.