The governor’s office recently announced the release of an independent review of the state’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 910-page report was authored by the law firm Montgomery McCracken Walker & Rhoads, under the leadership of former federal and state prosecutor Paul Zoubek, with assistance from the Boston Consulting Group.  Gov. Phil Murphy announced this review in November 2022, noting at the time that it would include, but not be limited to, the state of readiness in New Jersey for a pandemic in early 2020; prominent emergency policy decisions that were made by the New Jersey government; the pandemic response with respect to vulnerable residents, including members of congregate care settings; and the state government’s efforts to continue core functions, including providing direct services to residents.

The review was also tasked with examining the management of public health aspects of the pandemic, including testing, vaccinations, personal protective equipment procurement and distribution and coordination of the health care system and of health information around COVID-19. It also studied school closures.In a statement, the governor said, “I want to thank the teams at Montgomery McCracken Walker & Rhoads and Boston Consulting Group, who, under the leadership of Paul Zoubek, issued a 910-page comprehensive and unflinching review of the state’s response to COVID-19. This pandemic, which took the lives of over 33,000 New Jersey residents and well over one million Americans, was the greatest crisis our state has ever faced. During this trying time, my responsibilities as governor required that every effort be made to protect the health and safety of all 9.3 million New Jersey residents. As we emerged from the pandemic, my responsibilities similarly demanded that we as a state fully examine what worked and what didn’t work so that future administrations can be better prepared for a crisis of this magnitude.“I am proud that New Jersey is the only state in the nation to have completed this type of independent and comprehensive review. The report both highlights numerous examples of New Jersey’s strong leadership during the crisis, and identifies gaps in preparedness and structural deficiencies that must be addressed.  “I know New Jersey will be better off because of this review, and my administration looks forward to working with the Legislature on its recommendations.”

The full 910-page report can be accessed here.