After talking to Fauci, NJ Governor Phil Murphy says U.S. “not there yet” on UK variant of COVID-19

TRENTON, NJ – New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy on Monday indicated that he had spoken to Dr. Anthony Fauci regarding the new UK strain of COVID-19 virus which is purported to be faster spreading and possibly more deadly than the current strain.  Cases of the UK strain have already surfaced in New Jersey, with at least two cases being reported in Ocean County.

“I had a conversation on Saturday afternoon with the one and only Dr. Tony Fauci. You can imagine he has had a little bit of a burden lifted off of his responsibilities,” Murphy said. “We were talking about the new variant and the punch line is this. There’s mixed data that came out of the UK on its lethality, and I don’t think our government is there yet, at least at the federal level; at least that’s my sense. But also, this gets back to the basics that we’re dealing with.”

Murphy said at this point, the only thing that can be done is to continue social distancing, wearing face masks and washing your hands.

“My question of Dr. Fauci was does the new variant change the shape of the epidemiological curve? You know, we think that we’re in that plateau range right now. Does that extend it? Does it take it down and then back up again?” Murphy said. “A lot of this, obviously, is to be determined but it’s funny, he came back — folks, it sounds very basic — You keep doing the smart things, wearing a face mask, social distancing, washing your hands with soap and water, taking yourself off the field if you’re not feeling well or you’ve been exposed, getting tested at the right point — that continues to be the formula.”