New Jersey will seek new management at state’s veterans homes following COVID deaths
The state of New Jersey is now looking for new management to take over all three veterans homes in the state. This comes just days after the state sent a team to inspect the Menlo Park veterans home where more than 100 veterans died during the COVID-19 pandemic.
As the state begins its search for an outside company to manage the three veterans homes, Democrats like state Sen. Patrick Diegnan say the governor is making the right choice to seek new leadership and ordering a yearlong probe of how the state handled all facets of the pandemic.
“Let's find out what went wrong so we can correct it going forward. More importantly, let's fix it,” Diegnan says.
Gov. Phil Murphy’s long-awaited review of how the state handled the pandemic finally began this week. But Republican lawmakers in Trenton have wanted a legislative investigation since 2020 into how the administration handled COVID, including the spread of the virus at veterans homes.
RELATED: Menlo Park veterans home appears to have ignored infection control procedures, KIYC investigation finds
“The Legislature is a co-equal branch of government, and the people deserve answers,” says state Senate Minority Leader Steve Oroho.
Oroho and other Republicans want lawmakers to run their own investigation of what went wrong during the pandemic. But they can’t do that without Democrats who control the State House.
“This administration now realizes that they probably should have done a lot more than what they did,” Oroho says.
“We can look backward all day long, and we should find out what went wrong. But let's look forward,” says Diegnan.
There is no time frame on how long it will take to choose new management for the veterans homes. The COVID review is not expected to be completed until the end of 2023.