STATEMENT: Gottheimer Reacts to New Federal Investigation into State-Run Paramus Veterans Memorial Home
Today, Wednesday, October 28, 2020, U.S. Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5) released the following statement reacting to a new federal investigation into the state-run Paramus Veterans Memorial Home, where, earlier this year, 89 residents and 1 staff member died from COVID-19.
“Given the massive loss of life of so many of our veterans, and the federal report outlining failures at the facility, I was glad to see that the federal government has now announced an investigation into the state-run veterans home,” said Rep. Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5), who has introduced bipartisan, bicameral legislation to protect seniors and veterans in long-term care facilities. “Beginning in April, Congressman Pascrell and I called on the federal government to investigate the travesties that took place at the facility. I was encouraged by the recent changes in leadership and the acknowledgment that mistakes were made. The families and loved ones of our brave veterans deserve accountability, and I will not stop fighting until we get them the answers they deserve.
Gottheimer continued: “With flu season and winter ahead, and caseloads spiking, It is essential that the Paramus Veterans Memorial Home has a clear plan in place to address a potential second wave. We must do everything possible to prevent an outbreak at this facility and all long-term care facilities, and we must be prepared for every eventuality. I’ve also asked the Department of Justice for a breakdown of every state where they’re investigating long-term care facilities to ensure that these are not politicized investigations.”
Gottheimer has led calls for an investigation at the state-run Paramus Veterans Memorial Home since the start of the COVID-19 crisis. After learning of the outbreak occurring in the state-run facility in April, Gottheimer worked to help get New Jersey National Guard strike teams into the facility within hours. At his urging, 56 health care workers from the federal Department of Veterans Affairs were sent to support the facility. Gottheimer also coordinated top infectious disease doctors to come consult with the facility’s medical staff. Gottheimer asked the facility’s CEO to resign and leadership at the state-run facility has now changed. Gottheimer has also reiterated the need for the State Legislature to investigate, and he is continuing to fight to expand oversight and transparency into state-run veterans homes.