TOMS RIVER, NJ – Today, Governor Murphy announced the daily death toll for COVID-19 and as we have been saying now for weeks, his numbers are weeks and sometimes even months out of date. Today, Governor Murphy announced 24 people were confirmed dead with COVID-19, but only one of those actually died in the past three weeks. As the media begins to press Murphy harder on his numbers, the Governor is being forced to disclose his daily inconsistencies.
We first reported these inconsistencies back in May, but the Governor never responded to our claim. Last week, we called out the Governor’s daily briefing which is riddled with misleading facts and data each morning and outdated information.
“Sadly, we must report an additional confirmed 24 #COVID19 deaths, bringing our total number of confirmed deaths to 13,787,” Murphy said. “Of the deaths we’re announcing today, only 1 occurred in July. The number of probable deaths dropped to 1,920 as prior cases have been resolved.”
In June, we reported Governor Murphy was now cooking the COVID-19 books with a new stat called “probable deaths”. Today, Murphy adjusted his “probable death” count.
We’ve been saying it for months, New Jersey, but few are listening. The GOP minority needs to open an immediate investigation into Murphy’s fuzzy math, weird science and shady bookkeeping because the narrative he’s pushing is hurting a lot of people statewide. If it’s not true, there needs to be accountability.
We’ve been on this since day 1 of the pandemic after talking to politicians and healthcare professionals, but all we spoke to are afraid to go on record to correct Murphy’s broken record that plays the same song each morning.
Here’s our report about Murphy recounting deaths that took place months ago…
Governor Phil Murphy has just introduced a brand new level of science to the COVID-19 pandemic, “probable deaths”. Murphy acknowledged last week that he has had teams of researchers scouring death certificates filed since the COVID-19 pandemic to determine possible COVID-19 cases. Without scientific data, the team has made a scientific conclusion that an estimated, probable 1,854 people might have died of probably COVID-19, maybe since the pandemic began…but there’s no scientific data behind that…because…this is all driven by science.
“Today, we’re reporting an additional 26 deaths among #COVID19 confirmed-positive residents. That total is now 13,018,” Murphy said. “For the first time, we’re reporting 1,854 probable COVID-19 deaths since this emergency began. With these numbers, the total currently known loss from COVID-19 among our residents is 14,872.”
Murphy said Dr. Lifshitz and his team at the Communicable Disease Service have been taking great care in examining thousands of death certificates to identify residents whose passing could, with great reliability, be attributed to COVID-19.
“We know that there are those upon whom a COVID-19 test was never performed, even though the underlying symptoms and causes of death point to the probability that they did, in fact, have COVID-19,” he added. “Given our current testing protocols and decreasing number of deaths overall, we do not anticipate this number growing significantly in the future.”
Regardless, Murphy will use those figures to pad the overall COVID-19 death toll for New Jersey.
“However, some changes are to be expected, and we will be reporting on the number of probable deaths every week. On our dashboard and other documents, we will report these numbers separately, but they represent the toll this pandemic has had on our New Jersey family,” he added. “We’re not the only state which has been grappling with how best to draw a complete picture of COVID-19’s impacts. In one day, we are significantly adding to the already weighty toll this pandemic has had on our state, and on so many families. We report this out of nothing else than a solemn sense of duty.”
Our in-depth look at Murphy’s weird science and inconsistencies
It’s not sure whether or not Governor Phil Murphy is trying to mislead New Jersey each and every morning during his daily COVID-19 briefing. We’re not saying that, but what we are saying is that we have debunked a lot of the figures and information related to the virus given each day by the governor. Whether it’s fearmongering or overzealousness and excitement on the part of the governor, we’re not sure.
First, let’s break down daily hospitalizations. Each day we’re told of a number of hospitalizations in the state. We’ve been questioning those numbers of late and on Friday, Murphy admitted and agreed to start breaking down those hospitalizations into two categories, known and under investigation.
He said as of Friday, 844 people were being treated in the hospital for COVID-19. Only 397 of those patients have been confirmed positive with the virus.
“Today, In our hospitals we’re treating 844 total patients yesterday, and Judy, for the first time we’re going to explicitly say today, and I think we’ll change the chart as of Monday, if that’s okay, that of those 844, and you’ve been a leader on this, 397 are known COVID positive, and 447 are listed as persons under investigation pending, as we mentioned, test results,” Murphy said. “And we’ll start to break that out, I think every day for folks, right? The number of patients requiring intensive care was 139, and there were 65 ventilators in use, and that is certainly the lowest in a long, long time.”
20 people died from COVID-19.
Each day we think that’s how many just died. Again, not the case. We’ve been taking his word as scripture since the height of the pandemic. Twenty people did not die yesterday. In fact, 20 people might have died several days or even weeks ago. Again, Murphy is now being kept honest about this figure.
“Most of these deaths actually occurred some time ago and are only today being added to the confirmed count,” Murphy admitted on Friday.
On Friday, the state’s rate of virus reproduction crossed the dreaded 1% threshold, which is now Murphy’s key indicator of whether or not we continue reopening New Jersey, now heading into our third-month post flattening the curve.
Sounds, like we’re going in a bad direction right?
“However, our rate of transmission is up overnight to 1.11. I believe, Judy, yesterday it was at 1.0. Am I right? Yes. This means that each new positive cases leading to one or slightly more than one more positive case. Folks, we need to get that RT back down to where we are actively slowing the spread of this virus,” Murphy said today.
Overnight, you say?
If you look closely at the slides provided by the Governor as he’s speaking the 1.11 is not actually an “overnight” number, it’s an estimate of virus reproduction rate over the course of the past 7 to 14 days. While the RT is slowly creeping from its low of .7, it’s still nowhere near the pandemic high of 5.31.
Now, let us remember those who have died of COVID-19. Each morning, New Jersey sits around the television weeping for those poor lost souls who are the most recent victims of COVID-19. Many in New Jersey believe the daily roll call is a list of fallen in recent days, perhaps even in recent weeks.
Not the case.
On Friday, Murphy recognized Alphonse Baldino and his wife Jenny. Mr. Baldino passed on April 15th, three months earlier.
The other memorial he gave on Friday was that of Ludovino Alcantara, who died at the age of 86 on March 20th, some four months earlier.
Like we said the other day, this is a great memorial, but in full disclosure and in keeping with his declaration on Friday that, “We want to get this exactly as right as we can”, Murphy should offer full disclosure on those memorials from months ago. They are slightly misleading.
Governor Murphy using outdated death data…reported in May
With time at a premium for millions of New Jersey residents looking to get back to work or reopen their businesses, Governor Phil Murphy’s roadmap to reopen relies on science and data. On Thursday, Murphy admitted that one of his key indicators of when to reopen is days, if not weeks behind the curve. Each day, Murphy announces how many “souls” were lost overnight, but on Thursday, he admitted, that’s not quite how it works. Fatality figures given by the governor are days, sometimes weeks behind. In many cases, as Murphy reads off the roll-call of those who perished to the disease, in some cases those deaths occurred one to two weeks before his announcement.
Murphy’s Daily Death Count Could be almost one month behind?
On Thursday, Murphy remembered Howard Arnesen, of Cranford. Mr. Arneson passed away on April 24th. Another sad pair of deaths reported by Murphy on Friday were those of father and daughter Dr. Satyender Dev Khanna and Dr. Priya Khanna. They both passed April 21st and April 13th. That delay hasn’t gone unnoticed by members of the media who questioned Murphy about the delay. One reporter asked the governor why he is the date of confirmed death instead of the actual date of death when correlating the figures that are critical to the reopening of New Jersey. Essentially, the reporter was asking the Governor why we’re not using actual numbers and that the state’s figures could be a week or more behind. Every day is critical to those who need to get back to work.
“I think that we’ve been clear on this when we report as we did today, 254 fatalities, that does not mean 254 people died since yesterday at 2 o’clock, you’re correct,” Murphy said.
NJ COVID-19 Death Data Out of Sync?
Dr. Edward Lifshitz, a Medical Director at the New Jersey Department of Health, agreed with Murphy, even admitted that Murphy’s daily death toll is not the most accurate way to get a real-time sense of the COVID-19 pandemic. Lifshitz said the state awaits death confirmations from long-term care facilities, so if the care facility doesn’t immediately report the death, the state’s published figures also fall behind. In reality, Lifshitz said, the data released during today’s press conference could be figures that reflect New Jersey’s status a week ago, possibly even longer.
“You are absolutely correct that in a lot of ways that the date that it’s being reporting is not the most accurate way to get a sense about what’s happening,” Lifshitz said. He added that New Jersey’s COVID-19 deaths peaked roughly two weeks ago or so.