Testimony will highlight catastrophic COVID impact on long-term care facilities in New Jersey, across America

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-09) today applauded a hearing scheduled for Wednesday at 10 a.m. in the House Veterans Affairs Subcommittee on Health addressing the nationwide crisis in veterans care homes ravaged by COVID-19. Pascrell has been invited to participate in the meeting and will be submitting testimony on the devastating COVID outbreak at the New Jersey Veterans Home at Paramus (NJVHP).

“Tomorrow’s hearing will be a pivotal forum for shedding sunlight on the devastation this virus has wrought on veterans’ homes across the United States,” said Rep. Pascrell, who has helped lead efforts in Congress to highlight senior home vulnerability. “In North Jersey, the ongoing tragedy at the New Jersey Veterans Home at Paramus has stunned the nation and laid bare the terrible vulnerability of these facilities. As the pandemic continues, we must act right now to learn from the failures at Paramus and elsewhere and do whatever is possible to shield our most vulnerable neighbors. This includes reversing the unconscionable cuts by the Trump administration to long-term care protection. I want to thank Chairman Mark Takano and Chairwoman Julia Brownley for their dogged attention to protecting our senior homes from this scourge. Continued oversight and reforms will save lives.”

Upon learning of the outbreak at the NJVHP, Reps. Pascrell and Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ-05) have led numerous efforts to bring immediate assistance to the facility and get to the bottom of the outbreak. On April 10, Pascrell and Gottheimer contacted the U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the VA Inspector General demanding they open an immediate federal investigation and take additional measures to protect remaining residents. Following Pascrell and Gottheimer’s requests for assistance and additional personnel, the VA announced that 90 nurses would be sent to support the veterans’ facilities throughout New Jersey, including the Paramus Veterans Memorial Home. Gottheimer and Pascrell have continued to demand answers and accountability on behalf of all residents, veterans, and their families.