New Jersey's 26th Legislative District

Senator Joe Pennacchio

Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio: Governor Willing to Investigate Trump; Why Aren’t Senate Democrats Willing to Investigate 7,100 dead Nursing Home Residents?

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Governor Murphy acknowledged that his administration is investigating President Trump’s fundraiser in Bedminster as a possible violation of his own executive orders, but the pandemic conditions inside New Jersey veterans’ and nursing homes remain obscured.

While the Governor is investigating the President’s fundraiser, Senator Pennacchio today renewed his call for a Senate Select Committee investigation of the administration’s handling of COVID inside veterans and nursing homes. (Pixabay)

“During the final days of the presidential election, Murphy wants to roll out his own version of an October Surprise,” said Senator Joe Pennacchio. “What we really need is an investigation into the deadly operations in our long-term care residences.

“More than 7,100 senior citizens who entrusted their lives to the nursing homes in this state were lost due to bungled practices and policies,” Pennacchio said. “The Senate was elected to represent the residents of this state, and we should leave no stone un-turned in an effort to uncover the truth of what happened in our veterans’ and nursing homes, and why it happened.”

Since early May, Senate Republicans have been pressuring the Democrats to use their power as the majority party to form an investigative committee. Pennacchio sponsors a resolution, SR-68, to create the committee.

“The Governor has called the President’s fundraiser reckless, but what is truly reckless is forcing the deadly virus into facilities full of medically fragile senior citizens,” said Pennacchio. “By its silence, the Senate is allowing the lost lives of long-term care residents to be whitewashed, and the families who lost loved ones in nursing homes during the pandemic deserve better from us. Standing silent after a human tragedy of this magnitude is unacceptable,” We must put politics aside and do the right thing.

“It is time to subpoena witnesses, ask the hard questions, and discover where things went wrong and how we lost so many lives,” Pennacchio said.

The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday published an extensive expose on the horrifying conditions at the Menlo Park Veterans Memorial Home in Edison.

The report traced the home’s disastrous handling of the coronavirus, COVID’s rapid spiral out of control, and the deaths of more than 100 veterans or spouses.

“From all we know, the conditions in our nursing homes were dreadful. My colleagues in the Senate should see the faces and hear these stories from survivors, from families who lost loved ones, from healthcare workers who were deprived of proper protective equipment, and from administrators who were overwhelmed, unprepared, and under-supported by state agencies,” said Pennacchio.

“Until we understand the problems, we cannot possibly propose a solution. Let’s hold the hearings and start digging for some answers,” Pennacchio continued. “It is time for the Legislature to stop sitting quietly on the sidelines not doing anything.”

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