New Jersey's 24th Legislative District

Senator Steven Oroho

Senator Declan O'Scanlon
Senator Kristin Corrado
Senator Steve Oroho

Oroho, O’Scanlon & Corrado: $500K Report Does Not Absolve Murphy Admin for Nursing Home Deaths

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Senator Steven Oroho, Senator Declan O’Scanlon, and Senator Kristin Corrado said a superficial report commissioned by Governor Phil Murphy does not absolve his administration for its clear failures that led to the massive loss of life in New Jersey’s long-term care facilities due to COVID-19.

Sen. Steven Oroho, Sen. Declan O’Scanlon, and Sen. Kristin Corrado said a superficial report commissioned by Gov. Phil Murphy does not absolve his administration for its clear failures that led to the massive loss of life in New Jersey’s long-term care facilities due to COVID-19. (SenateNJ.com)

“The Murphy Administration paid a consulting firm $500,000 to rush a report that attempts to shift blame for thousands of nursing home deaths to anyone but the governor,” said Oroho (R-24). “What taxpayers received back is a glossy report that repackages the State’s data in colorful graphs and charts. The report glosses over the fact that the administration forced our LTC facilities to admit COVID-19 patients, which led to thousands of deaths. With that glaring deficiency, the entire report is suspect.”

The Murphy Administration commissioned Manatt Health to conduct a $500,000 assessment over four weeks of the State’s response to COVID-19 in New Jersey’s long-term care facilities, which include nursing homes and veterans homes. The result is 100 page report issued yesterday.

It has been reported that Department of Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli objected to the contract and the process through which it was awarded.

“The administration paid a consultant to write a report at taxpayer expense that advocates for the governor’s policy agenda while shifting blame for the governor’s bad choices,” said O’Scanlon (R-13). “I wish I could say I’m shocked. It’s undeniable that our long-term care facilities warned that they didn’t have sufficient supplies of PPE or the ability to manage the highly infectious patients that the Department of Health was forcing them to accept from hospitals. By failing to address these simple truths, this rushed report was irrelevant the second it was released.”

The senators said the administration’s attempts to stifle dissenting opinions, shift blame, and perhaps even cover-up its failures serves to heighten the need for a legislative investigation with subpoena authority.

“We have documented evidence of the orders from the Department of Health that delivered a wildfire of infection into the vulnerable population of our nursing homes, reports of a key figure being fired and perhaps scapegoated, and damning new claims from whistleblowers within the administration,” added Corrado. “There is nothing in the report that addresses any of those concerns or lessens my belief that we need a thorough legislative review with the power to subpoena witnesses. Frankly, the Manatt report isn’t worth its $5000 per page price tag.”

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