Senator Joe Pennacchio, Senator Steven Oroho, Senator Declan O’Scanlon, and Senator Kristin Corrado sent a letter (click here for PDF) to Senate President Steve Sweeney calling for a Senate Select Committee with subpoena power to be convened to investigate the massive loss of life in New Jersey’s long-term care facilities.
Senators Pennacchio, Oroho, O’Scanlon, and Corrado called on Senate President Steve Sweeney to convene a Senate Select Committee with subpoena power to investigate the massive loss of life in New Jersey’s long-term care facilities. (CC0 Public Domain)
The full text of the letter is below:
May 20, 2020
Dear Senate President Sweeney,
Last week, our Senate Republican caucus wrote to you calling for the formation of a Senate Select Committee to investigate the Murphy administration’s response to COVID-19, including the orders that all but guaranteed the loss of life in New Jersey’s long-term care facilities.
Yesterday, with mounting evidence that State orders were directly responsible for the tragic deaths of more than 5,400 residents in our nursing and veteran homes, we called for you to launch focused legislative hearings to understand the administration’s failures in this critical area to prevent a repeat of the tragedy should a second wave of COVID-19 occur.
Since then, the Murphy administration has taken the shocking step of wiping more than 1,400 deaths off the books, making it appear as if far fewer residents of the Garden State’s long-term care facilities died due to COVID-19 than is believed to have occurred.
The New Jersey Senate cannot stand idly by as the administration attempts to cover up its failures to heed warnings or properly protect our state’s most vulnerable residents. Our failure to act would disrespect the memories of all of those whose lives were lost due to State orders that amounted to nothing less than a death sentence.
To be blunt, you would be complicit in the administration’s efforts to brush this tragedy under the rug if you do not convene immediately a Senate Select Committee with subpoena power to investigate the massive loss of life in New Jersey’s long-term care facilities.
We are not looking to engage in a partisan witch hunt, we are asking for your help to engage in a productive effort that will save lives. We urge you to do the right thing.
Senator – 26th Legislative District
Steven Oroho Senator – 24th Legislative District
Declan O’Scanlon Senator – 13th Legislative District
Kristin Corrado Senator – 40th Legislative District