TRENTON, NJ – New Jersey State Senator Joe Pennacchio is calling for an investigation in light of the scandal rocking neighboring New York State and Governor Andrew Cuomo regarding COVID-19 data and the actual number of nursing home deaths in the state.
On March 31st, 2020, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed a similar order to the one Cuomo signed that essentially forced nursing homes to admit infected COVID-19 patients.
“A published report exposing the shocking admission by a high-ranking aid to Governor Cuomo that New York intentionally withheld “the state’s nursing home death toll from COVID-19” may raise serious questions about the reliability of New Jersey’s data,” Senator Joe Pennacchio said.
“We now know New York was playing games with the numbers to prevent the loss of life from becoming a political issue,” said Pennacchio (R-26). “In light of the New Jersey parroting New York’s policies, there has to be concern that the true extent of the crisis in our veterans’ homes and nursing homes could have also been downplayed to protect the Governor.”
“The Administration has repeatedly resisted calls for transparency, and refused to share ‘the science’ behind their virus policies,” Pennacchio noted. “The public deserves some clarity, and the families of almost 8,000 seniors and healthcare workers who died from COVID exposure in long-term care facilities want answers.”
“Murphy’s health department issued directives to long-term care facilities that were verbatim to orders Cuomo sent to home there just days before. It’s not a stretch to think New York’s malfeasance may have been duplicated in Trenton,” the Senator said.
Both letters directed the discharge and acceptance policies of hospitals and nursing homes for vulnerable elderly patients, and both ordered the facilities to take in infected COVID-19 patients.