Senator Declan O’Scanlon (R-Monmouth) issued a statement following news that New Jersey had missed a federal deadline to begin long-term care vaccinations yesterday.
“While one of the lead stories on most New York news stations over the last two days was celebrating the life-saving commencement of their long term care facility vaccination program – at 10 AM sharp yesterday morning, at 618 facilities – not a word was mentioned about New Jersey. Why? Because New Jersey missed a filing deadline, resulting in a full 7-day delay in the commencement of this unquestionably life-saving program. That shocking and unfathomable reality should make every New Jerseyan sick to their stomach.”
“When we think of the term ‘deadline’ it seldom occurs to us to take the term literally. Here, avoidable death may well be the result of this delay.”
“We receive daily reports of cases, hospitalizations, outbreaks and deaths from the scourge of COVID-19. We know those most vulnerable to serious illness and death are those in our long term care facilities. The numbers are inescapable. Nationally almost 800,000 of these residents and employees have contracted coronavirus and over 100,000 of them – a third of all deaths – have occurred in this population.”
“The Commissioner’s excuse that there was too much data that needed to be provided doesn’t hold water, because one need look no further than over our border with New York to find a state that managed to accomplish the task. So did officials in Connecticut, Maryland, New Hampshire and Maine. That New Jersey apparently had the opportunity to receive approval to commence yesterday, and blew that opportunity, is outrageous. There must be a full investigation and those responsible must be held accountable. If the administration won’t do it, the legislature must.”
“Part of that investigation must include an accounting of those that could have been vaccinated over these precious 7 days, but weren’t. It won’t be hard to figure out how many lives were likely impacted, or ended, due to this delay. We get the reports every day.”