Scroll Top

Senators Vitale, Cryan and Johnson Respond to Independent and Comprehensive COVID Report


Trenton – Senator Joe Vitale, Senator Joe Cryan and Senator Gordon Johnson issued the following joint statement in response to release of the independent review of the State’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and to the many recommendations the study’s authors have proposed to make New Jersey stronger and more resilient when the next public health crisis hits:


“This exhaustive, 910-page report offers many lessons and recommendations that make for an early blueprint so that we are not caught off-guard and ill-equipped in future health emergencies, and to make sure our response is better coordinated to save more lives.


“The report offers a comprehensive review of some failures at both the state and national level that led to the loss of 33,000 New Jersey lives, caused hundreds of businesses to fail and thousands of jobs to be lost.


“The report digs deep into the disproportionate and deadly effect the pandemic had on our most vulnerable citizens – including our elderly populations, veterans in nursing homes, low-income communities and communities of color. The study also outlines in tragic detail the horrible early days of the pandemic that devastated our long-term care facilities and, namely, our Veterans Homes in Menlo Park and Paramus.


“Most alarmingly, the authors argue that four years after the onset of COVID, our state is not moving swiftly enough to prepare our defenses for a future pandemic or the next public health crisis.


“We must look closely at some of the report’s recommendations, particularly as they relate to mandatory training of government departments and personnel, a huge upgrade of planning and preparedness, a stronger review of data protocols that need to be constantly updated, and greater coordination between hospitals, public health departments, and long-term care facilities.


“We look forward to working with the Governor’s Office, the state Health Department as well as public health policy advocates as we work to make sure New Jersey is ready and prepared to save lives whenever the next crisis strikes.”