New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy signed an executive order Thursday authorizing Col. Pat Callahan, the State Police superintendent, to commandeer medical supplies and equipment needed to combat the worsening coronavirus pandemic.
The order, which Murphy announced during his daily briefing in Trenton, comes as hospitals throughout New Jersey are facing severe shortages in personal protective equipment, such as N95 masks and face shields, that the state’s overburdened health care workers desperately need.
While the state has received PPE from the federal stockpile and through corporate donations, Murphy has said it’s only been a fraction of what’s necessary. During Wednesday’s briefing, the governor said state has sourced around 10 million pieces of PPE at its own at a cost of “tens and tens of millions of dollars.”