COVID deaths at NJ veterans homes draws attention of national Republican
The 156 COVID deaths at veterans homes in New Jersey was cited by a Republican U.S. senator as an example of why better oversight is needed for state run veterans homes.
U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, says that the deaths in New Jersey, along with 77 deaths at a veterans home in Massachusetts, show that the standard of care and quality controls at many state veterans homes falls short of those required by other government supported nursing homes.
According to Grassley, state veterans home nationwide receive $1 billion in federal dollars to cover all or part of the care of veterans. He expects the cost of care to increase as Vietnam veterans get older.
In New Jersey, 81 residents died at the Paramus facility, 64 at Menlo Park and 11 at Vineland in 2020, according to the Department of Military and Veterans’ Affairs. There were two staff deaths in Paramus and Menlo Park.
“Our veterans deserve the best possible care after giving so much for our country," Grassley says in a letter to Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Denis R. McDonough. "Unfortunately, it appears that the standard of care and quality controls at many state veterans homes falls well short of those required by other government supported nursing homes. Americans deserve answers and our veterans deserve better.”