STATEMENT: Gottheimer, Pascrell Applaud Replacement of Paramus Veterans Home Head
Needed accountability at DMAVA, veterans homes for unspeakable deaths
U.S. Reps. Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5) and Bill Pascrell, Jr. (NJ-9) this afternoon praised the replacement of Paramus Veterans Home CEO Matthew Schottlander by Governor Phil Murphy. They released the following joint statement.
“Today’s announcement is a long time coming. The explosion of COVID-19 demanded transparency, honesty, cooperation, and competency, and the people in charge at the state-run Paramus Veterans Home and elsewhere provided none of these. Eighty-one of our veterans and seniors perished because of the negligence and failure of the Paramus Veterans Home leadership. It is one of the gravest tragedies of this pandemic. Their deaths were preventable. Here today is a measure of accountability to the families who lost loved ones. We applaud the State of New Jersey for removing the leadership. It cannot stop here. We need a full report of what happened so that we can improve policies to ensure a tragedy like this won’t ever be repeated.”
Reps. Pascrell and Gottheimer have led calls for an investigation at the Paramus home since the outset of the coronavirus crisis. At their urging, the federal Veterans Affairs department sent 56 health care workers to support the facility. Infectious disease experts were also sent to Paramus to prevent spread of the virus at their request in April. The two Congressmen visited the home in May and last month participated in a House Veterans Affairs Committee hearing on coronavirus and veterans homes.