Phil Murphy: I Have no Time for Transparent and Open Government During COVID-19 Pandemic

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TRENTON, NJ – Governor Phil Murphy is seeking to hire an investigator to look into who is alerting the public to the inner workings of the New Jersey Department of Health. A leak became evident on Thursday when a Bergen Record asked Murphy about an internal conversation between the Department of Health and the Governor.   That discussion was in reference to establishing a non-profit Public Health Institute in New Jersey.

“I understand that the Commissioner floated an idea with you to establish a nonprofit similar to a Public Health Institute that some states have, which can raise money and work around some of the government bureaucracy associated with procurement of supplies. What was your response to that, and is it something that’s on the table?” Dustin Racioppi asked.

“I’d be curious to know how you learned that, by the way. I like the idea, and Judy knows that,” the Governor responded. “To say this is a five-alarm fire I think would be the understatement of the century, in terms of getting the house fire out, but I like the idea and I think it’s an idea that has worked particularly well in some other states.”

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Today, reporters asked the Governor if he supported the investigation, again catching Murphy off guard.

“Look, people leaking things and giving the outside world some sense of how the sausage is made, I got no time for that and that’s gotta stop,” Murphy said. “We’re going through stuff we’ve never gone through before and the last thing we need are people speaking out of school about it. Frankly, enough already and let’s move on.”