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State Republican Chairman Doug Steinhardt. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for New Jersey Globe)

Steinhardt claims veterans homes probe a political smokescreen

By Nikita Biryukov, January 05 2021 9:34 am

Republican gubernatorial candidate Doug Steinhardt on Thursday claimed a probe into New Jersey’s state-run veterans homes launched by Attorney General Gurbir Grewal was meant to provide Gov. Phil Murphy with political cover as he heads into his re-election race.

“This investigation is nothing more than a public relations scheme cooked up by the morally bankrupt, taxpayer-funded fixers advising Governor Murphy, designed to weasel him out of accountability for the deaths of 7,100 loved ones,” Steinhardt said, citing no evidence.

Republicans have long attacked Murphy over his handling of the virus in the state’s long-term care centers. Deaths at such facilities account for more than a third of all who have died from the virus in the Garden State.

GOP officials have repeatedly attacked Murphy over an order that required long-term care facilities to take in COVID-positive residents, though they often leave out that the order that created that mandate required such residents be separated from the general population.

“We cannot let Governor Murphy get away with making the facility managers the scapegoats, when they were following his directive to ignore CDC guidelines and accept COVID positive patients into their nursing homes without testing. Phil Murphy must ultimately pay the price for his bad judgement and weak leadership,” Steinhardt said.

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