Republican Jack Ciattarelli, a candidate for New Jersey governor, took aim at the state’s Democratic Governor, Phil Murphy, in a new campaign ad.
In the ad, Ciattarelli alleges that the 8,000 seniors who died in New Jersey nursing homes since the Covid-19 outbreak began “died because Governor Murphy ordered nursing homes to take in COVID-19 patients.”
“We…want to hear all of the conversations that took place within the administration about how to handle the nursing home environment for COVID-19 patients,” Ciattarelli told “Fox & Friends First” on Thursday.
“The big revelation this past week was a tape that came out from one of the conversations that took place between the administration and nursing home operators on which one of the operators said, you do realize people will die. And what was deafening was the silence,” he added.
New Jersey saw over 8,000 deaths in long-term care facilities due to COVID-19, making up 40% of the state’s total death count. Along with New York, New Jersey has the highest numbers of COVID-19 deaths in nursing homes in the nation.
According to a report published by NJ.com, an unnamed administrator warned that Governor Murphy’s March 31st order to send patients back to long term care facilities regardless of their COVID-19 status would result in New Jersey seniors’ deaths, “You understand that by asking us to take COVID patients, by demanding we take COVID patients, that patients will die in nursing homes that wouldn’t have otherwise dies had we screened them out”, the official said.
Following Governor Murphy’s directive to return seniors to care homes, the Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medine and the American Health care association released a joint statement strongly discouraging the order, cautioning that “this is a short-term and short-sighted solution that will only add to the surge in COVID-19 patients that require hospital care.”
Ciattarelli is adamant that the governor and his administration be held accountable.
“We need answers and those families deserve justice,” said Ciattarelli, adding that “the whole thing needs to be investigated.”