NJ Gov. Murphy Was Warned That “Patients Will Die” but Proceeded Anyway

"Last station nursing home" (CC BY-SA 2.0) by Ulrich Joho

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy’s office was allegedly warned that ordering nursing homes to readmit COVID-positive patients would lead to unnecessary deaths.

A new report reveals that Democratic New Jersey Governor previously warned Cuomo ordering nursing homes to readmit residents recovering from Coronavirus would lead to unnecessary deaths. However, Murphy went ahead and implemented the order anyway.

According to the New Jersey Advance Media report, New Jersey Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli informed hundreds of long-term care providers on a conference call last March 31 that they would soon be expecting to readmit COVID-positive patients. 

In addition to this, Perischilli also told the nursing home care providers that they would need to have COVID-positive patients in a separate wing and be assisted by separate staff. 

However, after the announcement, Perichilli was warned by an unnamed nursing home administrator that people would “die” should COVID-positive residents be readmitted. 

The administrator said, “Patients will die. You understand that by asking us to take COVID patients, by demanding we take COVID patients, that patients will die in nursing homes that wouldn’t have otherwise died had we screened them out.”

Instead of addressing the warning, Perichilli went on and told the administrators the guidelines that they should follow for separating returning residents and their caretakers. However, the group officials brought the issue with the commissioner. 

One of the administrators said, “You have asked us to separate safely and create our own wing and take in COVID-19′s from the hospital.

The administrator continued, “The problem, of course, is there is no separating safely,” they continued. “It’s almost certain that even though you have staff only on that unit, something will migrate.”

Then, a day after the conference call, the New Jersey Department of Health was slammed with calls from 99 different nursing facilities stating that they do not have enough resources or staff to separate patients properly. 

New Jersey Department of Health spokeswoman Donna Leusner said, “Within a week, 200 facilities notified us that they could not accept new admissions.”

Republican New Jersey lawmakers held a hearing to investigate the readmittance of COVID-positive residents, leading to more than 8,000 deaths in the state’s nursing homes. 

However, on Monday, Murphy DEFENDED his order stating that the order the implemented “crystal clear,” adding that if a nursing home or a long-term care facility were to readmit recovering COVID-positive resident, they have to follow the state guidelines that they imposed. 

“It was crystal clear,” Murphy said. “If you were going to readmit a formerly COVID-positive resident, they had to be separated by floor, by wing, by building. The staff could not co-mingle.”

These new reports made the New Jersey governor face the same nursing home scandal like that of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. 

Meanwhile, the order that Cuomo released to nursing home facilities allegedly “petrified” nursing home administrators. 

In an exclusive interview, Michael Kraus, a nursing home administrator, alleged that he and other executives of long-term facilities and nursing homes were petrified when Cuomo gave the order to readmit COVID-positive patients last March 2020. 

However, Kraus revealed that state officials immediately shot down his voice. 

Kraus said, “Many facilities vocalized it. He added, “They were petrified, but they were more petrified of the Department of Health … once it [my concern] was shot down, I never spoke [about it] again.”

There were over 15,000 nursing home and long-term care patients who were confirmed to have died in the state of New York. However, in January 2021, the state only reported a fraction of that number.