NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Because of the coronavirus pandemic, it’s a challenge to get a one-on-one with New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy.
But on Tuesday evening, CBS2’s Nick Caloway spoke to the governor about the chaos at motor vehicles offices and the issues reopening of the state’s economy.
Caloway: “Let’s jump right in talk about the Motor Vehicle Commission. MVC locations reopened for in-person transactions today and it has been chaos. Long lines of people waiting hours and hours. What can be done and what is being done about that?”
“Nobody is happy to see that,” Murphy said. “No one wants to be waiting in lines like that, so we have nothing but unending sympathy. Couple of things, first of all, an obvious point, but there’s an enormous amount of pent-up demand. They have been closed, and folks want to get on with getting a license, etc.
“There’s a lot of folks in line right now who actually could deal with what their issues online. So I would say to folks, step back, go on njmvc.gov and determine whether or not, in fact, you need to be physically there. There’s a lot of stuff, anecdotally, as folks have gone through the lines, a lot of folks are in line that don’t have to be in line, and that would be a huge game-changer for everybody.”
WEB EXTRA: Watch Full Interview With Gov. Murphy
Caloway: “Today you added three states to the travel advisory list, including Delaware. So travelers to New Jersey from 19 states need to quarantine for two weeks. Is this going to be enough to prevent spread from out of state?”
MORE: Travel Advisory Tracker
“Nick, I hope so. We had counted on taking on some increased risk when we begin to reopen the state,” Murphy said. “I, frankly, don’t think anyone has counted on the explosions that we have seen in places like Florida, Texas and Arizona. As you mentioned, 19 states are now on the list of hotspots. I hope it’s enough. We’re asking a big dose of personal responsibility which New Jerseyans have been great at since Day 1 of this crisis. We’ve got contact tracers. We’ve got big testing capacity. All those are assets that we didn’t have before. I hope so. We’re watching it very carefully.”
Caloway: “Do you anticipate having to take a step back and close businesses again?”
“At the moment, no. But we’re watching that rate of transmission very, very carefully. But at the moment, no, because things like indoor retail, you’re going in there somewhere to capacity constraints,” Murphy said. “Wear a mask, please. We’re gonna hit that again hard tomorrow. Wear a face covering or you can’t get inside. And you’re moving around and you’re leaving. That is not the the biggest area of risk.”