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Murphy: ‘No problem’ revealing full virus spending details

December 21, 2020 GMT

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy on Monday promised transparency over the state’s spending on protective gear bought to combat COVID-19.

Murphy, a Democrat, spoke Monday during a news conference about the virus and responded to a reporter’s question about an Associated Press report showing New York and New Jersey have so far declined to release detailed breakdowns of their spending on personal protective gear and medical equipment during the first frenzied months of the virus outbreak.

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Murphy said he wasn’t sure why the purchase orders —typically a public document — were declined.

“ì have no problem at all reporting what we spent on PPE,” he said. “I’m all for everyone knowing exactly what we’re doing.”

New Jersey failed to provide purchase orders for personal protective equipment, saying fulfilling the request would be “substantially disruptive to agency operations.”

The state did provide a one-page document showing it spent $164 million for 153 million pieces of equipment, including masks, gloves, goggles, beds and even morgue trucks.

It’s unclear when the documents will become available.