Gov. Phil Murphy on Thursday visited President Donald Trump at the White House to thank him for helping the state of New Jersey during the fight against the coronavirus.
“I thank you for the enormous help in our darkest hour of need,” Murphy said to the president, as the pair met in the Oval Office and spoke to reporters.
Murphy noted his state was “crushed” by the coronavirus, with 6,770 fatalities, and thanked the president for providing ventilators, masks, personal protection gear, field hospitals, and testing sites to his state.
“The curves, thank God, are beginning to show promise,” he added. “And we’re beginning to take some baby steps on that road to reopen.”
Murphy said he would open up state and county parks and golf courses as long as certain health and safety protocols were followed.
He also alluded to the enormous funding gap that the state would suffer as a result of additional spending to fight the virus and the dramatic cut in tax revenue in the aftermath of the economic decline in the stat.
“You know, we’ve been crushed, and I appreciate your consideration on the financial side going forward as well,” Murphy said.
President Trump also praised Murphy’s response to the pandemic, as the state suffered widespread infections of the virus, especially in areas close to New York City.
“By the way, he’s a Democrat, so I’m getting myself in trouble, but that’s okay,” Trump joked. “I have to tell the truth.”
Murphy was elected in 2017 as the successor to Republican Governor Chris Christie, a friend to the president.
Trump said that as a New Yorker, he enjoyed the state of New Jersey.
“I have to speak as President but I also speak as somebody that is in New Jersey a lot,” he said. “It’s a great place. It’s a beautiful state. People don’t understand New Jersey quite. But it’s a beautiful state.”