Fact Check: No Phil Murphy did not reach his goal of 4.7 million ‘adults’ vaccinated

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New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy
New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy

TRENTON, NJ – Governor Phil Murphy on Friday touted that the State of New Jersey has reached his goal of 4.7 million ‘people’ vaccinated, but a quick look into the numbers shows, data and transcripts from his press conferences shows that the governor and the state are well short of the goal he set back in May.

Murphy now touts reaching his goal of “4.7 million vaccinated ‘individuals'”, but that was never a goal set by his administration until today. As demand for vaccines among adults died down, the Murphy administration opened up vaccinations to children twelve and over, which opened up a whole new demographic to receive the shot. That expansion allowed the governor wiggle room to redefine his target goal midway through the game.

Suddenly, 4.7 million adults morphed into 4.7 million ‘individuals’ and once again, Murphy changed the rules to suit his desired goal. By adding the child vaccination count to the adult count and renaming his goal from ‘adults’ to ‘individuals, Murphy was able to reach his ‘goal’ and tout his vaccination program as a complete success.

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Returning to University Hospital, the location of New Jersey’s first COVID-19 vaccination on December 15, 2020, Governor Phil Murphy announced that the state has hit its ambitious goal of fully vaccinating 4.7 million individuals who live, work, or study in New Jersey nearly two weeks before its original target date of June 30th. Except that was never the goal of the Murphy administration.

On May 11th, the vaccine became available for children over 12.

“Before the arrival of vaccines in mid-December, our Administration set one of the most aggressive vaccination goals in the country,” said Governor Murphy. “Reaching our milestone of 4.7 million fully vaccinated individuals who live, work, or study in New Jersey in a little more than six months required a comprehensive statewide approach, with strong partnerships across all levels of government, the private sector, and in our communities. Our Administration built a large-scale vaccination infrastructure, with more than 1,500 vaccine distribution sites to date, to meet demand and provide equitable access to all eligible individuals. We are grateful to the millions who rolled up their sleeves to protect themselves, their families, and their communities from COVID-19, and together, we have exceeded our initial goal. While we are celebrating this remarkable achievement, our work is not yet finished, and we must continue working together to vaccinate all eligible individuals to end the COVID-19 pandemic.”

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Now, in the typical moving of the Murphy COVID-19 football field goalposts, Murphy math allowed the governor to reach his goal. Unlike during the pandemic when the goalposts were being moved forward to achieve a political goal, now Murphy is moving his goalposts closer to achieve his political goals.

“Reaching our ambitious vaccine goal ahead of schedule is an incredible achievement,” said First Lady Tammy Murphy, ignoring the fact that the initial goal was for 4.7 million adults. “The spirit of shared responsibility and mutual trust that got our state through the darkest hours of the pandemic is the same spirit I have seen at countless vaccine sites where New Jerseyans have been rolling up their sleeves at record pace. We are so thankful to all who have worked tirelessly toward this milestone— especially our faith community and the New Jersey Pandemic Relief Fund for their incredible partnership in our Grateful for the Shot program — and I know we will continue this momentum forward.”

Here’s what Murphy actually said back on May 12th.

“Having said that, Judy, the 12 to 15, we have to add that to – the objective is 4.7 million initial, 70% of our adults. We define adults as 16 and up. We would add that to that,” he said at his daily press conference. “I don’t think we’ve got a target number for you yet. We’re not going to use that as a way to leg into the objective.”

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Woke Zombie, a Twitter user that tracks the state’s COVID-19 numbers daily caught the white lie…or if you will, wordsmithing done by Murphy.

“What a terrible lie. His goal was 4.7 million ADULTs. You took credit for NJ residents not vaccinated here, took credit for 12-17 yr olds in the number, and never netted out the out of state residents vaxxed in NJ,” she said.

It’s not sure how many in the 12-15-year-old age bracket received their full vaccinations as of yet. that number could possibly be as high as 500,000 or more, making Murphy miss his actual goal.

At Shore News Network we keep doing the media thing because our competitors have obviously given up holding anyone in public office accountable.