NJ GOP questions Gov. Murphy’s COVID-19 handling in hearing

Phil Murphy

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy speaks during a news conference in Newark on Dec. 15, 2020.

TRENTON, N.J. — New Jersey Republican lawmakers conducted a hearing on Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, questioning his administration’s handling of the virus in nursing homes.

The committee met for the first time Friday remotely with testimony set to be given by doctors, nurses, nursing home operators, veterans homes residents and others.

Lawmakers focused in part on New Jersey’s March 31, 2020, health department directive requiring nursing homes not to turn away COVID-19 positive patients.

You can watch the hearings in the video below.

The policy made headlines because of news that New York released 9,000 previously unknown virus patients into facilities under a similar policy.

Alyana Alfaro, the governor’s press secretary, called the hearings a “nakedly political election year stunt.”

“The same legislators who are now politicizing the tragic losses in our long-term care facilities repeatedly voted against legislation that would have mandated safe staffing ratios at these same facilities — siding with powerful industry lobbyists and against our vulnerable seniors,” she said in a statement. “These members sat idly by for years while Gov. Christie cut funding for DOH and DHS, slashing to the bone the same agencies that would have provided more oversight to these facilities had they had the funding and the manpower to do so. In contrast to these efforts to score political points, the Murphy administration will continue to work with our partners in the legislature to protect the health and safety of all New Jerseyans.”

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