TRENTON, NJ – Hello, we are here from the government and we’re here to help you. That’s what’s happening in New Jersey as Governor Phil Murphy has assembled an ever growing army of contact tracers and investigators tasked with finding out how you got COVID-19 and who else you might have been in contact with. In New Jersey, calling random people and asking them, “Where were you last night?” isn’t exactly the best course of action for anyone looking to get information out of somebody.
In fact, 74% of New Jerseyans are not cooperating with Murphy’s contact tracing corps and Governor Murphy, well, he’s a bit upset over it.
“Quite frankly, this is unacceptable and we need folks to turn that around. It is extremely critical for contact tracers to get in touch with the close contacts of those who test positive to help us stop the spread of this virus,” Murphy said. “You may think you’ll just call your contacts yourself, but this is a task that is best left to a trained public health professional, a contact tracer in fact, who can answer questions about access to testing or social supports that they may need to safely quarantine or isolate.”
Murphy said his contact tracers aren’t there to rat on you. They won’t tell your wife if you were at a hotel room with another woman last night. They won’t tell your parents if you were smoking pot at Billy’s house party this weekend. They won’t even tell your parents you quit college two semesters ago and have been having out at a flophouse in New Brunswick instead for the past six months. No, they’re here for you and the information you give them is their secret.
“The huge bulk of the balance are folks who continue to believe that we’re trying to uncover something that we’re not trying to uncover,” Murphy said. “That’s the evidence that I have, that they don’t want to feel guilty themselves that they did something in their own home or that their kid hosted a party that they shouldn’t have. It’s just really, really frustrating.”
It’s clearly evident that the millions of dollars of taxpayer funding used for the training and deployment of contract tracers isn’t working for Governor Murphy. Murphy also blames politics, and likened not answering the contact tracer calls to not wearing a mask. The Governor shouldn’t get too upset over this. His contact tracers are achieving great success if you think about it. They are able to get 26% of New Jerseyans to answer an unknown caller that comes across most mobile phones as a spam caller. Statewide, the average outside of contact tracing is probably in the high 90’s when it comes to how many unknown phone calls are not answered in New Jersey…just ask any telemarketer, they can confirm that estimate.
Still, Murphy insists. When that strange number calls your phone and a strange voice is heard on the other end asking you where you were last night and who you were with, by all means, comply …they are from the government and here to help you…scout’s honor.
“Our contact tracers are our fellow New Jerseyans and we are committed to continuing to hire New Jerseyans for this important work. These are people from within our own communities, stepping forward to protect their very neighbor,” Murphy said. . Through their commitment, we are beating our benchmarks. We’re holding up our end of this battle. We urge you folks to please work with us. Remember, our contact tracers are not on a witch hunt. They are only concerned with stopping the spread of this virus. We urge you, please work with our contact tracers, and do your part to end this pandemic. The more people who cooperate, the sooner we can slow the spread and crush the curve, the sooner we can emerge from this pandemic. We cannot thank enough those of you who have answered the call and cooperated in providing our contact tracers the information they need to protect your loved ones, your neighbors, your family, your friends, your community. While you’re at it, if you have not yet done so, please download the COVID alert NJ app to your smartphone and add your phone to the more than 440,000, which are now part of our fight to stop the spread of COVID-19.”