Pennacchio: 6,000 Nursing Home Residents Dead, Administration Blame Game Has Begun

To Prevent A Repeat, Senate Must Find Out What Went Wrong

Senator Joe Pennacchio today said more serious questions have been raised at the New Jersey Department of Health and “the lack of leadership has been glaring at the highest levels of state government during the COVID crisis.”

More serious questions have been raised at the Department of Health and Senator Pennacchio said the lack of leadership has been glaring. (

Pennacchio’s comments come after a published report of heated arguments between the health commissioner and high-level staffers on the Governor’s team, and an attempt to sign a $500,000 contract with a politically-connected consultant firm for four weeks of work with nursing homes.

“These are serious issues – 6,000 souls died in state-regulated nursing homes,” said Pennacchio (R-26). “The state forced the virus into these long-term nursing facilities, while keeping their loved ones out. A pandemic is devastating the state economy and has killed 12,000 state residents, half of them seniors in long-term care.

“The problems may have been worse than we imagined. The Senate should immediately convene a special committee with subpoena power to investigate the pandemic response and get to the bottom of this mess. If these were traffic issues on the George Washington Bridge, subpoenas would already have been issued,” concluded Pennacchio.


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