District 10 lawmakers-Senator Jim Holzapfel, Assemblyman Greg McGuckin, and Assemblyman John Catalano-are calling for an emergency session and independent committee hearings after a damning report was released by the U.S. Department of Justice detailing the tragic consequences of the Murphy Administration's COVID-19 policies for veterans homes.
"Since the early days of the pandemic, we-along with every other rational person-warned that forcing COVID positive patients back into nursing homes would be an absolute catastrophe," said Senator Holzapfel. "Unfortunately, the Murphy Administration didn't listen to us, or any Republicans for that matter, and instead followed the terrible advice of democrat officials in New York. The report by the Department of Justice is devastating and the Murphy Administration must be held accountable for the appalling treatment of our nation's heroes."
The 43-page report, released on September 7, revealed failures at the New Jersey Veterans Memorial Homes at Menlo Park and Paramus throughout the pandemic. The DOJ even accused the state of "unreasonable harm and risk due to inadequate infection control practices and inadequate medical care, in violation of the U.S. Constitution."
"The lack of accountability from the Murphy Administration is on a whole other level," added Assemblyman McGuckin. "Governor Murphy, and Governor Murphy alone, is responsible for the disastrous policies he approved, despite countless objections from Republicans and many health officials. We must have an independent, bipartisan hearing to make sure this never happens again."
More than 200 residents of the homes died during the pandemic. In 2021, New Jersey paid $53 million to settle a lawsuit by families who believed gross negligence led to the deaths.
"During the pandemic, Republicans repeatedly called for investigations," said Assemblyman Catalano. "The fact of the matter is, the Legislature could have done something to protect our veterans but democrats refused to investigate the issue. The report by the Justice Department has revealed the truth and those who are responsible must be held accountable."