In recent weeks, COVID-19 has taken a backseat for many Americans. Nevertheless, New Jersey remains the state hit second-hardest by the virus. It is essential that we do not lose sight of the realities of the pandemic. While nearly half of NJ’s coronavirus deaths have been in long-term care facilities, friends and family of facility residents have too often been left in the dark about their loved ones. Many of these facilities suffer from understaffing, lack of PPE, and lack of oversight – issues that are deeply concerning under normal circumstances, but frighteningly so during this pandemic.
Without the necessary resources and guiding standards, conditions and safety measures in care facilities will stagnate. As such, we need a real fighter and decisive legislation that sets better standards for the care of our most vulnerable residents -- and we need it quickly.
Congressman Josh Gottheimer has led the way to helping get the National Guard and VA medics to help staff our nursing homes. He also introduced key legislation that will improve the quality of care for residents both during and beyond the pandemic. His Nursing Home Pandemic Protection Act requires long-term care facilities to comply with more stringent reporting of COVID-19 outbreaks and other communicable diseases to residents, their families, and the CDC, maintain a PPE stockpile,and establish health crisis response plans.
In times like these, we need to keep leaders like Congressman Gottheimer in office: People who provide voices for the vulnerable and advocate for greater transparency and safety.