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N.J. Governor Announces Likely Cancerous Tumor Then Gives Budget Speech Two Days Later

Sean Neumann

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said his prognosis is “very good” after he was told by doctors recently that a tumor found on his left kidney is “90-percent likely” to be cancerous. He’ll have the likely malignant growth removed in early March.

Murphy, 62, announced the news Saturday on Twitter, writing: “Friends – I’ve got a tumor on my left kidney and will undergo a partial nephrectomy in early March to remove it. The prognosis is very good and I’m profoundly grateful to my doctors for detecting the tumor early.”

The governor’s office told NJ.com that doctors have “complete confidence” they’ll be able to remove it when the state’s top official undergoes surgery early next month.

“Over 50,000 New Jerseyans will hear the words ‘you have cancer’ this year, so I’m far from alone here,” Murphy wrote in a follow-up tweet over the weekend. “It’s a situation that far too many families find themselves in. That’s why we’re fighting for them each and every day.”

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New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy | Michael Brochstein/Sipa USA/AP

At his home last weekend, the governor said he expects to be back on his feet and “back in the game without any impairment going forward,” barring any issues during the operation, according to NJ.com.

Days later, Murphy delivered the state’s annual budget address. He received an outpouring of bipartisan support after he announced his prognosis.

“Wishing you a full and speedy recovery,” one user wrote. “We don’t agree politically on many items, but everyone should be respectful and compassionate to those in need.”

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He received a lengthy standing ovation at the beginning of his budget address on Tuesday, according to reports, and he didn’t seem to skip a beat during the speech, in which he announced a $40.9 billion budget for the 2021 fiscal year.

Murphy is in his first term as the governor of New Jersey, previously working as a Goldman Sachs executive and an administration official under President Barack Obama.

While announcing his prognosis, Murphy also used the opportunity to call on lawmakers to work with him on universal health care legislation.

“Health care is a right, not a privilege for a select few, and skyrocketing medical costs are a national emergency,” he tweeted. “If there’s anything my diagnosis reminds me of, it’s that preventative services are lifesaving and we need to continue fighting for affordable health care for all.”