Governor Murphy says 50% of reported COVID hospitalizations are not clear cut; NJ Hospital says 75% of ventilator patients are vaccinated

4 mins read
Phil Murphy Photo 130146681 © Laurence Agron |

TRENTON, NJ – A lot has come out this week regarding the COVID-19 pandemic regarding face mask quality, vaccines admittedly only protecting against serious infection, but not spread and quarantine guidelines, but two revelations are shattering the foundation of Governor Phil Murphy’s public COVID-19 narrative.

Pandemic of the unvaccinated no more

Governor Murphy last week said that in New Jersey, COVID-19 is a pandemic among the vaccinated and that most critical patients in the state’s hospitals are unvaccinated.

This week, it was announced by the city of Elizabeth announced more than 50% of their COVID-19 patients are vaccinated and 75% of patients on ventilators are also vaccinated.

That data contradicts the statement made statewide by Murphy last Monday. The other big news this week is Governor Murphy’s own admission that as many as 50% of patients in hospital reported as COVID-19 patients, had arrived in the hospital for other non-COVID-related reasons such as inpatient surgeries, serious injuries, and even pregnancies. That’s because everyone admitted to the hospitals is tested for COVID-19 and regardless of what they were admitted for, if they test positive during their stay, they are reported to the state as COVID-19 patients.

75% of patients on ventilators are vaccinated

“The unvaccinated are still overwhelmingly the ones going to the hospital, and even if every single one of the hospitalizations still under investigation by the Communicable Disease Service is a COVID-related one, the unvaccinated would still account for more than 92% of the week’s total hospitalizations,” Murphy said last Monday.

But, data released Thursday by the City of Elizabeth tell a much different story. The city reported more than 50% of Trinitas Regional Medical Center’s more serious COVID-19 patients are vaccinated.

“Trinitas currently has 73 patients admitted with COVID-19, 32 of those patients are unvaccinated, 14 are in the ICU, 5 are unvaccinated,” the city said. “There are also 12 patients on a ventilator, and 4 are unvaccinated.”

That means 75% of patients on ventilators at the hospital are vaccinated. Overall 57% of patients being treated at Trinitas are vaccinated and 43% are unvaccinated.

65% of ICU patients are unvaccinated

65% of patients in the hospital’s ICU are vaccinated compared to 35% who are unvaccinated.

“As you can see, our hospital numbers are still significantly high, meaning this virus is not over. That is why it is very important that we continue to get vaccinated, try to follow social distance rules, wear your face masks or coverings when you cannot distance, and wash your hands frequently,” the city said.

Shore News Network was unable to reach out to Trinity to confirm the city’s claim.

State figures include incidental COVID-19 patients

As the omicron surge spikes, so is the hospitalization of COVID-19 positive patients. This week, Governor Phil Murphy reported 6,000 patients in the hospital for COVID-19, a sharp increase and a staggering number.It turns out, that more than half of them were not in the hospital because they had COVID-19, but tested positive for COVID-19 while going to the hospital for other injuries or procedures.

“We’re seeing more of our residents hospitalized right now than at any point since in the end of April of 2020. April 29, 2020, to be exact was the last day that we had more than 6,000 folks in our hospitals,” Murphy said on Monday. After being pressed by reporters on his claim, Murphy later admitted his figures were artificially inflated. “I think we have a fair number of what I’ve started to call incidental COVID, meaning you went in because you broke your leg, but everyone is getting tested. It turns out you’ve COVID,” Murphy said, admitting the 6,000 figure was intentionally misleading. “You didn’t even know it. My wife didn’t know it and still she’s not back in the game, but never had any symptoms. There is a significant amount of that. Judy, any color on either the requirement for folks to return and secondly, incidental COVID?” Incidental COVID is the term that is used for patients who might show up in the hospital ICU from a car crash or traumatic accident, and pop positive on the hospital admittance COVID-19 test. They are counted by the state in the overall hospitalizations, despite most having no symptoms or signs of the virus. Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli also admitted Murphy’s 6,000 hospitalization figure was not the actual amount of patients in the hospital with COVID-19 being the primary reason for their hospital stay. “Today with about 6,000 individuals in our hospitals with confirmed COVID positive tests, about 2,963 of them are in with a principle diagnosis of COVID, which means it’s the reason for the admission, the reason for the hospitalization. About 32% of them are fully vaccinated, 68 to 70% of them are either unvaccinated or are partially vaccinated,” Persichilli admitted. It turns out, this is how New Jersey has been counting COVID-19 hospitalizations and in some cases, deaths to artificially inflate the caseload. On Tuesday, based on that data, Murphy declared a new public health of emergency for the state of New Jersey. When asked again if the 2,963 cases are the real number, Murphy waffled.

50% of reported COVID-19 hospital patients did not go to the hospital because of COVID-19

“I think the answer is yes, but that doesn’t mean it’s the true picture. The true picture is 6,000 – where is it, and 75% [50%] are in the hospital with COVID. That’s the picture. I do think you’re right that about half of them are, if I understood Judy’s numbers right, about half of them are incidental versus primary.”

Persichilli then tried to say that if somebody is in the hospital with heart problems, and go to the hospital and test positive for COVID, they are now a COVID patient.

“Half of them have a principal – what they call the principal diagnosis so the main reason for being admitted. The other half, on the other hand, are testing positive for COVID. COVID then becomes a contributing or comorbid condition that could or could not worsen their principal diagnosis, their principal reason for being admitted,” she said. “You can’t really parse it out totally, half and half. If you’re admitted to the hospital with cardiovascular problems, and you have a – you’re COVID positive, that maybe adding to the problems that you have. It’s not as clean-cut as half and half.”

“You can’t parse it. The answer is yes, it’s about 50/50, but that doesn’t mean the other 50% are – to use an old phrase, hunky-dory. These things feed on each other in terms of the conditions,” Murphy said.