Home>Highlight>Testa lauds state probe into COVID deaths at veterans homes

State Sen. Michael Testa. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for New Jersey Globe)

Testa lauds state probe into COVID deaths at veterans homes

By Nikita Biryukov, January 06 2021 10:17 am

State Sen. Mike Testa (R-Vineland) added his praise to a state grand jury investigation on the spread of COVID-19 in New Jersey’s veteran memorial homes.

“We know the Governor’s Office was directly involved in decisions to punish veterans home workers for attempting to wear PPE that could have saved lives,” Testa said. “Quite simply, there’s blood on the Murphy Administration’s hands. The grand jury deserves to hear the full story of the management failures within those veterans homes and at the highest levels of the Murphy Administration that led to more than 200 deaths of residents and staff.”

The supply of PPE was heavily strained in the first days of the pandemic, and officials sought to ration the supply. But administration officials did work to create disciplinary rules for long-term care center nurses who wore masks without authorization.

The prohibition on mask wearing at veterans homes lasted through the end of March, when Health Commissioner Judy Persichilli ordered they be worn by all long-term care center staff.

“Without all of the relevant information, it will be impossible for a grand jury to review the many layers of wrongdoing that led to hundreds of deaths for potential prosecution,” Testa said.

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