Pennachio Says Democrat Legal Weed Investigation Good, But Wants Investigation into Murphy Nursing Home Deaths Too

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TRENTON, NJ – In a reaction to the Democrat party’s call for a panel to investigate why the Murphy administration is holding up legalized recreational marijuana, Republican Senator Joe Pennacchio said it would be nice if Democrats can join Republicans in calling for an investigation into nursing home deaths during the pandemic.

“The Legislature is going to get to the bottom of legal pot paralysis. While we’re at it, let’s get rolling with a bipartisan panel to examine the policies and decisions that may have contributed to 10,000 COVID-related nursing home deaths,” said Pennacchio (R-26). “Prioritizing an investigation into the shortcomings of legal marijuana in New Jersey is, “An insult to the souls lost in nursing homes and their loved ones. It makes no sense.”

“It shouldn’t be ‘either/or.’ The horrible loss of life in senior care facilities across the state reflects the heart-breaking failure of a system intended to protect our most vulnerable citizens,” Pennacchio continued.

Pennachio’s calls to Democrats to investigate the nursing home deaths that occurred as a result of Governor Phil Murphy’s March 2020 order that forced nursing homes to take in COVID-19 positive patients have fallen on deaf ears for almost two years.

Pennachio announced a resolution to form a bipartisan investigative Senate Select Oversight Committee back in May of 2020.

“We need to understand what was going on inside the nursing homes, and how directives from the Administration impacted the level of patient care and the spread of the virus inside locked-down, isolated facilities. There’s no reason the Senate can’t scrutinize both issues,” said Pennacchio.

“The families who lost loved ones during the pandemic are desperate for answers. With bipartisan support, we can address their questions and take steps to prevent similar tragedies in the future,” the Senator concluded.