A rush transcript of “This Week with George Stephanopoulos” airing on Sunday, March 29, 2020 on ABC News is below. This copy may not be in its final form, may be updated and may contain minor transcription errors. For previous show transcripts, visit the “This Week” transcript archive.
MARTHA RADDATZ, “THIS WEEK” CO-ANCHOR: Jersey’s Governor Phil Murphy joins me now. There are more than 11,000 confirmed cases in that state. Governor Murphy good morning. The president said Saturday he was considering an enforceable quarantine on New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. New York’s Governor Andrew Cuomo said he considering that an act of war on the state. Trump has now said that (inaudible) with (ph) Cumo and you and the governor of Connecticut he will issue a strong advisory instead. What can you tell us about that consultation (ph)?
GOV. PHIL MURPHY, (D-NJ): Yes. Good to be back Martha. We had a lot of back and forth both among the three governors, which we do regularly these days, as well as with the White House. The fact of that matter is our three states — and I know New Jersey is obviously the best. We’re doing about as aggressive a set of steps as any states in America right now. So as challenging as this is, and you’re right, over 11,000 positives and tragically 140 dead as of yesterday in the Garden State, the fact of the matter is people aren’t really traveling a whole lot. A travel warning we’re fine with. The fact of the matter is we are all in flattening that curve, social distancing as aggressive as any states in America and we’ll continue to be that way.
RADDATZ: So although (ph) — you’re (ph) not (ph) really forced (ph) by this (ph) because people just aren’t traveling?
MURPHY: Well it’s a travel advisory so we take that seriously and we will execute (ph) it by the states and that’s something that, as I say, it’s defacto (ph) happening already and we’ll make sure — listen, we are pounding the table morning, noon, and night, stay home, stay home, stay home. So if there’s another message point we can add to that we’re happy to add to that. But we want folks to stay home and flatten this curve and break the back (ph) of this virus.
RADDATZ: New Jersey has more than eight times the number of confirmed cases now compared to when we spoke a week ago and you’ve already issued, as you say, that stay at home order. So why wouldn’t a quarantine like this be effective?
MURPHY: Again Martha we are defacto (ph) staying at home as a state. There are 9 million of us. You’re absolutely right, the numbers have gone up dramatically. But we expected this and we told our folks it would happen. Part of it’s due to community spread but a big part of is we have opened up testing aggressively. So the fact of the matter is folks — they’re already getting the message to stay at home. We’re enforcing that. If we think within New Jersey there are stronger steps we can take we consider them regularly and we will take them. This again as an advisory adds to a message that we’ve already — that we’ll have already been stark about. And remember the tests (ph) that we’re getting back yesterday may be as much as a week or so since the specimen was collected so we’re not yet seeing the numbers for the most dramatic steps we’ve taken on social distancing. We probably won’t see that for another week or so.
RADDATZ: And let’s talk about the situation in your hospitals. Last week you told me New Jersey was desperate for personal protective equipment and the Federal Government had only given you a fraction of what you asked for. You’ve now received a shipment from the stockpile including 120,000 N95 masks and a thousand medical beds. Is that enough?
MURPHY: Now listen, we had gotten another shipment in our private sector, our hospital systems. We’ve shutdown elective surgery so we’re getting equipment from that. But we’re still way short. We have a long way to go. I’d say, Martha, the big headline for us right now are ventilators. We had a very specific conversation with the White House last night about ventilators. That’s our number one ask. It’s our number one need. And that’s the one that we are focused most on right now. We have a long way to go on the whole PPE front but we’ve made more progress in other areas than we have right now on ventilators. That’s our big focus.
RADDATZ: You asked about ventilators. What was the answer?
MURPHY: They’re trying to work with us and, listen, we’re trying to find common ground 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. And then we had a very specific conversation about our asks and the potential to perhaps phase that in as they can deliver. We need them though. There’s no question about it.
RADDATZ: You sure do, like so many others. Governor we thank you for joining us again this morning.
MURPHY: Thanks for having me Martha.
RADDATZ: And as officials race to contain the outbreak in the tri-state area, new hot spots are emerging here in the U.S., among them Louisiana. Last Sunday there were 837 confirmed cases in the case. Today there are over 3,300. Joining me now is the governor of Louisiana, John Bel Edwards. And, Governor Edwards, our condolences to you this morning with this bad announcement that you lost a young staffer to complications from the virus, 33-year-old April Dunn. She is part of an alarming rise of infections and deaths in Louisiana.Tell us what you are seeing this morning in your state. And again, our condolences.
EDWARDS: Well, thank you very much, Marta — Martha, and it’s good to be with you. We obviously have a spread that is growing faster than — than we would like to see. We remain on a trajectory, really, to overwhelm our capacity to deliver health care. By the end of the first week in April, we think the first real issue is going to be ventilators. And — and we think it’s about the fourth or fifth of April before, down in the New Orleans area, we’re unable to put people on ventilators who need them. And then several days later, we will be out of beds.
Now, we’re surging our capacity now, both with our existing footprint of hospitals, but also in the convention center down in New Orleans. And so we’re going to be able to get those beds up, but — but the staffing remains very difficult and the ventilators are — are what we need right now. You know, we’ve had orders in for more than 12,000 ventilators, some through the national stockpile and others through private vendors. Thus far, over the last several weeks, we’ve been able to get only 192. And so we continue to work this extremely hard.
But in the meantime, my message to Louisiana is really no different than the message that you’re seeing out of the New York governor and the New Jersey governor. We need people to practice the mitigation measures we have in place, the shelter-at-home that we have state-wide now, so that we can slow the spread. We — we cannot have everybody presenting to the hospital, which is what will happen if we don’t slow the spread. We should know in the next three or four days whether the stay-at-home order that I put in place is going to have the intended effect. But we know that mitigation works, but it only works to the extent that it’s actually complied with.
And so we’re hopeful that these — that the curve does start to flatten here in the next few days. But we’re in a very, very difficult place here in Louisiana, with the number two case count per capita in the United States and — I’m sorry — number three per capita case count, number two with per capita deaths. And so we’re — we’re in a very difficult place, Martha.
RADDATZ: And, Governor, you said in your press conference on Thursday, “We are not going to enforce our way through this,” meaning keeping people home. “People need to comply.” If the outbreak continues to worsen and residents don’t comply, will you consider stronger enforcement measures?
EDWARDS: Oh, sure. And when I said that, it’s not like we don’t have law enforcement out going to businesses and telling them whether they are supposed to be closed or not, or just — or if you have a large group of people, that they’re telling them that they have to leave. But we have 4.7 million people. We have tends of thousands of business. We have 4,500 churches. And so my point to the people of Louisiana is, “Look, don’t look for us to come enforce this. We need you to take it upon yourself to comply. Because, really, that’s the only way that we’re going to be successful.”
And so it’s not that we’re not going to enforce these measures at all, but we shouldn’t be — be made to enforce them, is the point that I was trying to deliver to the Louisiana people.
RADDATZ: And, Governor, Mardi Gras is now believed to be one of the sources of Louisiana’s outbreak. Dr. Fauci said your state likely should have issued a stay-at-home order sooner. And the New Orleans mayor said just yesterday it wasn’t canceled because the federal government said it was contained. Is that the reason?
EDWARDS: Well, look, there was never any hint from anyone, to me or to the mayor of New Orleans, that there should be any consideration to down-sizing or canceling Mardi Gras. I think, if you look back for about 15 cases in the country, all of which were tied directly to travel or indirectly to travel, and there was never any hint of this. And if you’ll go back, you will see that the federal government was saying things were well under control.
And so this is some Monday morning quarterbacking going on. And, quite frankly, I believe it’s likely that — that Mardi Gras contributed to the seeding of the virus in and around New Orleans, a million and a half people, just 13 days before the first confirmed case here on March the 9th. But — but that’s looking back. Right now, we need to spend our time, our energy; we need to be focused on doing what we can do right now in going forward. And I’m sure that — that somebody’s going to do a study about the — the impact of Mardi Gras on this particular public health emergency later.
RADDATZ: And thank you very much for joining us this morning, Governor. And we wish you all the best.
EDWARDS: Martha, thank you so much.