TRENTON, NJ – The woman to New Jersey Governor Murphy’s right needs no introduction, but last week, she could have used a reminder. That’s because Judy Persichilli, the state’s top health official missed a critical filing deadline to get tens of thousands of new doses of COVID-19 vaccines through the federal government to be given to senior citizens. Now, the state, because of her error will be a full week behind on vaccine distribution days ahead of the Christmas holiday. The error could prove fatal for many.
Now, Doug Steinhardt, who is a Republican candidate running for governor against Phil Murphy is calling for Persichilli to be fired.
“Over 7,100 senior citizens have died already due to Governor Murphy’s impotent COVID response,” Steinhardt said. “How many more residents did Phil Murphy expose to infection because his Health Department couldn’t complete paperwork on time?
Persichilli missed a critical deadline for getting more doses of the Pfizer vaccine…by one day. On Friday, she admitted her error at the governor’s COVID-19 press briefing.
“In order to start on the 21st, there was a deadline of the 7th for the input of all the registered skilled nursing facilities, long-term care facilities, assisted living facilities, of which we have over 650. We missed that date by a day, and we asked to be able to start on the 21st and they said no, you’ll start on the 28th,” Persichilli told reporters. “It’s as simple as that.”
Steinhardt says Murphy needs to hold himself, his administration and Persichilli accountable for the simple clerical error that delayed tens of thousands of doses of vaccine to be distributed before the holidays to at risk senior citizens to the end of the year. Monday would have been the day they could have started administering the vaccines to seniors in assisted living facilities, four days before Christmas, now they will have to wait until four days after to administer the vaccine.
In March, Persichilli made another grave error when she ordered assisted living and senior healthcare facilities statewide to take COVID-19 positive patients into their care. That mistake lead to as many as 7,000 deaths this spring.