NORTH JERSEY — Today, September 7, 2023, U.S. Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5) released the following statement in response to the U.S. Department of Justice and New Jersey U.S. Attorney’s Office’s report which found that the New Jersey Veterans Home at Paramus, New Jersey (NJVHP) facility violated the constitutional rights of its residents during the pandemic. The pandemic resulted in the deaths of 89 residents at the Paramus Veteran Home.
“The handling of the Paramus Veterans Home during the COVID-19 pandemic is one of the greatest tragedies New Jersey has ever witnessed. These men and women bravely served our country and made sacrifices so we can live freely and safely. In return, careless and negligent facility management violated their rights, took their lives, and destroyed families.
Since I first heard from my constituents about the conditions at the home, I have been fighting for better conditions and oversight for our veterans and their families. The conditions were unacceptable then, and years later, despite all of the promises made to address the failures, they’re unacceptable now. Everyone is owed immediate answers, not only about how we got here, but also how to ensure this never happens again to those who fought valiantly for America.
Immediately after the news of the COVID outbreak at the Paramus Veterans Home, I was on the phone with the State and the VA, demanding that they investigate the deaths and conditions — and take immediate action. We got the VA and National Guard on the ground — including doctors, medics, and nurses.
I have asked for an immediate briefing from the New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to understand why these conditions remained for so long and what steps needed to be taken to give our veterans the care they deserve.”