Recently, Governor Murphy has allowed inmates and personnel at one of New Jersey’s largest state prisons to receive some of the first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. Senator Jim Holzapfel and Assemblymen Greg McGuckin and John Catalano criticize the Governor over this decision and point to the thousands of senior citizens who should be prioritized over convicted criminals as cases in nursing homes are on the rise.
Sen. Jim Holzapfel, Asm. Greg McGuckin, and Asm. John Catalano criticize Gov. Murphy over his decision to allow inmates and personnel at one of New Jersey’s largest state prisons to receive some of the first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. (DoD via Flickr)
“Unlike other states that put their senior population first, our Governor is choosing to vaccinate prison inmates before our most vulnerable citizens,” stated Senator Holzapfel. “We are seeing a substantial increase in cases at assisted living facilities and this will only get worse if the vaccine isn’t distributed properly to those most in need. The senior population and health care providers in our district have been patiently waiting for the rollout of the vaccine and to see the Governor alter the distribution and immunize inmates first is disgraceful.”
It was reported that more than 400 of New Jersey’s long term care facilities are undergoing active outbreaks with cases and deaths nearly doubling over the past 45 days. The state Department of Health’s assessment reported that New Jersey had a 132 percent increase in cases and a 62 percent increase in deaths since November 16th. COVID-19 related deaths in Ocean County nursing homes are the highest in the state, with a 1020% increase in the last 45 days.
“Nursing homes are seeing a surge in cases and deaths, most dramatically in Ocean County. The only way to stop this is outbreak is to ensure that all patients and staff within these facilities are administered the vaccine as soon as possible,” said Assemblyman McGuckin. “The idea that the Governor has prioritized inmates over the elderly is yet another example of how this Administration has failed our seniors.”
This is yet another blunder by the Murphy Administration who earlier last month failed to file the proper paperwork and missed a deadline for the authorization on distribution of the first doses of the vaccine.
“It’s not a secret that the largest percentages of COVID-19 deaths have occurred in nursing homes, yet the Murphy Administration continues to fail our long term care facilities and those who provide necessary care to patients,” added Assemblyman Catalano. “He seems to care more about photo ops, fanfare and prisoners than overseeing the proper protocols to ensure that our most vulnerable residents are put first.”
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