Call for More Accountability and Transparency in Wake of Tragic COVID Outbreaks
After news of a leadership shake-up at the New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, Senator Joe Pennacchio, Senator Kristin Corrado and Senator Steve Oroho called the changes “necessary and long over-due.”
After news of a leadership shake-up at the New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, Senator Pennacchio, Senator Corrado and Senator Oroho called the changes ‘necessary and long over-due.’ (SenateNJ.com)
“While I am pleased this is an attempt to address some of the administration’s failures, there still is much work to be done after the disastrous COVID toll in all of our nursing homes,” said Pennacchio (R-26). “An independent legislative review, a Senate Select Committee with subpoena powers, is still necessary to determine how more than 7,100 people died in nursing homes across the state to ensure it doesn’t happen again.”
Governor Murphy announced the changes, including a new interim adjutant general and commissioner, and new interim administrators at the veterans’ memorial homes in Paramus and Menlo Park.
“It has been clear all along that inadequate and unprepared leadership contributed to the horrible loss of life in our veterans’ homes,” said Corrado (R-40). “This is a badly needed house-cleaning, and it is my hope that the new leadership will get to work immediately to ensure the protection and well-being of the residents under their care in the event of another COVID outbreak.”
A recent review recently identified at least 47 more COVID deaths at the state’s veterans’ homes bringing the total to 190. At the Menlo Park home alone, 101 people die, or one of every three residents.
“The conditions in these homes were unfathomable, and the lack of transparency and accountability is unforgivable,” said Oroho (R-24). “What happened in these state-run facilities is a heart-breaking disgrace. There could be no more disgraceful way to treat our veterans. We still need to study the exact policies that failed to give families and residents the assurance that necessary changes are understood and implemented.”
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