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Still No Investigation Conducted by the State of New Jersey as to Why Veterans were placed at Great Peril

Brian Wiener
State Commander VFW

Paramus NJ,No one can deny that the veterans, spouses, and Gold Star parents residing in our state operated veteran nursing homes located in Paramus and Menlo Park suffered higher COVID -19 death and infection rates than anywhere else in New Jersey, and arguably the world. Since March, 24 % of the veterans residing at the Paramus Memorial Home have died of COVID 19, and 17% at the Menlo Park Home suffered the same fate.

Since April, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, along with Congressmen Gottheimer and Pascrell, have been calling for an investigation to discover any deficiencies these two homes may have for managing a pandemic of this magnitude, along with the causes or failures which contributed to the astronomically high death and infection rates. An April 19th U.S. Department of Health and Human Services inspection of the Paramus Home found the facility was not to be in substantial compliance by:

 Failing to follow infection control guidelines
 Failing to cancel group activities
 Failing to promote residents’ rights to a dignified existence
 Failing to develop effective infection & control procedures

These egregious deficiencies were found a full 25 days after the first confirmed COVID 19 case in the home. Although the contents of the federal report are shocking, to date there has been no documented investigation conducted by the State of New Jersey as to why these veterans were placed at great peril by those whose duty it was to ensure their health and well-being were protected. The June 2nd report of
Long Term Facilities commissioned by Governor Murphy excludes the state operated veterans homes, further denying the survivors and families answers and closure.

Today marks the 152nd day since the first reported COVID 19 death in our state operated veteran homes and Governor Murphy’s hollow promise that he will “absolutely do a post-mortem on the veterans’ homes, period” is long overdue.

The Veterans of Foreign Wars calls on the State Attorney General, along with the Bergen and Middlesex County Prosecutors, investigate the actions or inactions of the executive leadership whose duty it was to provide our veterans under their care with a safe and healthy environment.

Brian Wiener
State Commander