New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy
New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy

TRENTON, NJ – New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy is doing his best to keep himself out of a scandal like the one ongoing in New York State regarding deaths at the state’s nursing homes.

In March of 2020, Murphy and his Health Commissioner, Judy Persichilli signed an order stating long-term healthcare facilities could not reject any resident who tested positive for COVID-19.

Murphy’s policy mirrored that of the one implemented by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo which lead to the deaths of hundreds and perhaps thousands of elderly senior citizens residing in long-term assisted living facilities.

Although the largest death toll was found in state-run homes, Murphy blamed the privately-owned care facility operators for not following the rules.

“It’s tragic. We were clobbered and we mourn the loss of each and every one of those lives,” Murphy said. “If the operators followed the pattern of instructions that I laid out, that was the right course to take. This is their home. So to say to folks, we’re not going to separate patients, but separate staff.”

Murphy said the patients were infected by COVID-19 staff members and not because they were forced to bring COVID-19 positive patients into the facilities.

“Did some operators not take our advice?” Murphy said. “If they did not, then they deserve to pay a price for that.”

Murphy, who is up for re-election in 2021 was criticized by RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel.

“Thanks to Gov. Murphy’s unscientific orders, NJ has the highest rate of long-term care coronavirus deaths in the nation,” she said. “It was a mistake, and instead of blaming nursing home staff in Cuomo-like fashion, he should own up to it.”



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