Jack Demands Answers from Governor Murphy on Nursing Home Deaths

 

February 19, 2021

Custodian of Government Records
Office of Governor
PO Box 001
Trenton, NJ 08625 

    

Dear Custodian:

Please accept this letter as an attachment to Form OC34.  It details my request for public records.

On March 31, 2020, the Commissioner of the Department of Health issued a directive to the “Nursing Home and Comprehensive Rehabilitation Hospital Administrators, Directors of Nursing and Hospital Discharge Planners” regarding “Hospital Discharges and Admissions to Post-Accute Care Settings.” (the “Directive”) (attached for your reference). That directive is nearly identical to a March 25, 2020 Directive from the New York State Department of Health dated March 25, 2020. (attached for your reference).

  • Please provide copies of all public records including but not limited to letters, emails, text messages, instant messages, notes, memos, reports, power points and/or electronic recordings relating to this Directive and/or its issuance and/or the decision to supersede it.
    • This includes all public records relating to communications between Governor Murphy and/or any member of the Governor’s staff with Commissioner Persichilli and/or any employees of the New Jersey Department of Health with Governor and/or any member of the New Jersey State Legislature and/or legislative staff relating to the Directive.
    • This includes all public records relating to communications between Governor Murphy and/or any member of the Governor’s staff with Governor Cuomo, any member of the Governor’s staff, Commissioner Zucker or any employee of the New York State Department of Health relating to the Directive.
    • This includes all public records relating to communications between Governor Murphy and/or any member of the Governor’s staff with President Trump and/or any member of the Trump administration including but not limited to Secretary of Health Azar and/or his staff, Dr. Fauci and/or his staff relating to the Directive.
    • This includes all public records relating to communications between Governor Murphy and/or any member of the Governor’s staff with President Biden and/or any member of the Biden administration including but not limited to Dr. Fauci and/or his staff relating to the Directive.
    • This includes all public records relating to communications between Governor Murphy and/or the Governor’s staff with the Center for Disease Control and/or any employee of the Center for Disease Control relating to the Directive.
    • This includes all public records relating to communications between Governor Murphy and/or the Governor’s staff with any Hospital, Nursing Home, Long Term Care Facility, Veterans Home or Comprehensive Rehabilitation Hospital and/or their executives, administrators or employees relating to the Directive.

On April 13, 2020, Lisa King, the Regulatory Officer of the Office of Program Compliance Decision of Certificate of Need and Licensing issued a directive to “All Administrator” entitled “IN RE: New Jersey Nursing Homes and Assisted Living Facilities – Emergency Conditional Curtailment of Admissions Order.” (A copy is attached for your reference). This Order superseded the March 31, 2020 Directive. (The “April 13, 2020 Order”).

  • Please provide copies of all public records including but not limited to letters, emails, text messages, instant messages, notes, memos, reports, power points and/or electronic recordings relating to the April 13, 2020 Order and/or its issuance.
    • This includes all public records relating to communications between Governor Murphy and/or any member of the Governor’s staff with Commissioner Persichilli and/or any employees of the New Jersey Department of Health and/or any member of the New Jersey State Legislature and/or legislative staff relating to the April 13, 2020 Order.
    • This includes all public records relating to communications between Governor Murphy and/or any member of the Governor’s staff with Governor Cuomo, any member of the Governor’s staff, Commissioner Zucker or any employee of the New York State Department of Health relating to the April 13, 2020 Order.
    • This includes all public records relating to communications between Governor Murphy and/or any member of the Governor’s staff with President Trump and/or any member of the Trump administration including but not limited to Secretary of Health Azar and/or his staff, Dr. Fauci and/or his staff relating to the April 13, 2020 Order.
    • This includes all public records relating to communications between Governor Murphy and/or any member of the Governor’s staff with President Biden and/or any member of the Bidenadministration including but not limited to Dr. Fauci and/or his staff relating to the April 13, 2020 Order.
    • This includes all public records relating to communications between Governor Murphy and/or any member of the Governor’s staff with the Center for Disease Control and/or any employee of the Center for Disease Control relating to the April 13, 2020 Order.
    • This includes all public records relating to communications between the Governor and/or any member of the Governor’s staff with any Hospital, Nursing Home , Long Term Care Facility, Veterans Home or Comprehensive Rehabilitation Hospital and/or their executives, administrators or employees relating to the April 13, 2020 Order.

Based on a report from the New York Attorney General, New York’s Directive, which is substantively identical to the Directive issued by Commissioner Persichilli, “may have put residents at increased risk of harm in some facilities and may have obscured the data available to assess that risk.”

  • Please provide copies of all public records including but not limited to letters, emails, text messages, instant messages, notes, memos, reports, power points and/or electronic recordings relating to any evaluation by the Governor’s office of whether the Directive created an increased risk of harm in some facilities or obscured data available to assess that risk.
  • Please provide copies of all public records including but not limited to letters, emails, text messages, instant messages, notes, memos, reports, power points and/or electronic recordings relating to the any review and evaluation by any member of the Governor’s staff of the New York Attorney General’s “Nursing Home Response to Covid-19 Pandemic.”

On May 7, 2020, the Department of Health set up a complaint hotline that allowed the reporting of issues at long-term care facilities.

  • Please provide copies of all public records including but not limited to letters, emails, text messages, instant messages, notes, memos, reports, power points and/or electronic recordings relating to complaints received through the Department of Health’s complaint hotline and/or its online complaint reporting platform.
    • This includes all public records relating to communications between Governor Murphy and/or any member of the Governor’s staff with Commissioner Persichilli and/or any employee of the New Jersey Department of Health relating to complaints received through the telephone or online complaint hotlines.
    • This includes all public records relating to communications between Governor Murphy and/or any member of the Governor’s staff with Attorney General Grewal or any employees within the Office of the Attorney General, and/or the Department of Law and Public Safety, relating to complaints received through the telephone or online complaint hotlines.
    • This includes all public records relating to communications between Governor Murphy and/or any member of the Governor’s staff with any Hospital, Nursing Home, Long Term Care Facility, Veterans Home or Comprehensive Rehabilitation Hospital and/or their executives, administrators or employees relating to complaints received through the telephone or online complaint hotlines.

In addition to the foregoing, I hereby request copies of all public records, including but not limited to letters, emails, text messages, instant messages, notes, memos, reports, power points and/or electronic recordings, relating to the Governor’s daily reporting/publication of Covid-19 infections and deaths in any Hospital, Nursing Home, Long Term Care Facility, Veterans Home or Comprehensive Rehabilitation Hospital.

 

Respectfully,

 

Jack Ciattarelli

 

 

 

February 19, 2021

Custodian of Government Records
Office of the Commissioner
New Jersey Department of Health
369 South Warren Street, 8th Floor
Trenton, NJ  08608-2308

 

Dear Custodian:

Please accept this letter as an attachment to Form OC34.  It details my request for public records.

On March 31, 2020, the Commissioner of the Department of Health issued a directive to the “Nursing Home and Comprehensive Rehabilitation Hospital Administrators, Directors of Nursing and Hospital Discharge Planners” regarding “Hospital Discharges and Admissions to Post-Acute Care Settings.” (the “Directive”) (attached for your reference). That directive is nearly identical to a March 25, 2020 Directive from the New York State Department of Health dated March 25, 2020. (attached for your reference).

  • Please provide copies of all public records including but not limited to letters, emails, text messages, instant messages, notes, memos, reports, power points and/or electronic recordings relating to this directive and/or its issuance and/or the decision to supersede it.
    • This includes all public records relating to communications between Commissioner Persichilli and/or any employees of the New Jersey Department of Health with Governor Murphy and/or any member of the Governor’s staff, and/or any member of the New Jersey State Legislature and/or legislative staff relating to the Directive.
    • This includes all public records relating to communications between Commissioner Persichilli and/or any employees of the New Jersey Department of Health with Governor Cuomo, any member of the Governor’s staff, Commissioner Zucker or any employee of the New York State Department of Health relating to the Directive.
    • This includes all public records relating to communications between Commissioner Persichilli and/or any employees of the New Jersey Department of Health with President Trump and/or any member of the Trump administration including but not limited to Secretary of Health Azar and/or his staff, Dr. Fauci and/or his staff relating to the Directive.
    • This includes all public records relating to communications between Commissioner Persichilli and/or any employees of the New Jersey Department of Health with President Biden and/or any member of the Biden administration including but not limited to Dr. Fauci and/or his staff relating to the Directive.
    • This includes all public records relating to communications between Commissioner Persichilli and/or any employees of the New Jersey Department of Health with the Center for Disease Control and/or any employee of the Center for Disease Control relating to the Directive.
    • This includes all public records relating to communications between Commissioner Persichilli and/or any employees of the New Jersey Department of Health with any Hospital, Nursing Home, Long Term Care Facility, Veterans Home or Comprehensive Rehabilitation Hospital and/or their executives, administrators or employees relating to the Directive.

On April 13, 2020, Lisa King, the Regulatory Officer of the Office of Program Compliance Decision of Certificate of Need and Licensing issued a directive to “All Administrator” entitled “IN RE: New Jersey Nursing Homes and Assisted Living Facilities – Emergency Conditional Curtailment of Admissions Order.” (A copy is attached for your reference). This Order superseded the March 31, 2020 Directive. (The “April 13, 2020 Order”).

  • Please provide copies of all public records including but not limited to letters, emails, text messages, instant messages, notes, memos, reports, power points and/or electronic recordings relating to the April 13, 2020 Order and/or its issuance.
    • This includes all public records relating to communications between Commissioner Persichilli and/or any employees of the New Jersey Department of Health with Governor Murphy and/or any member of the Governor’s staff, and/or any member of the New Jersey State Legislature and/or legislative staff relating to the April 13, 2020 Order.
    • This includes all public records relating to communications between Commissioner Persichilli and/or any employees of the New Jersey Department of Health with Governor Cuomo, any member of the Governor’s staff, Commissioner Zucker or any employee of the New York State Department of Health relating to the April 13, 2020 Order.
    • This includes all public records relating to communications between Commissioner Persichilli and/or any employees of the New Jersey Department of Health with President Trump and/or any member of the Trump administration including but not limited to Secretary of Health Azar and/or his staff, Dr. Fauci and/or his staff relating to the April 13, 2020 Order.
    • This includes all public records relating to communications between Commissioner Persichilli and/or any employees of the New Jersey Department of Health with President Biden and/or any member of the Biden administration including but not limited Dr. Fauci and/or his staff relating to the April 13, 2020 Order.
    • This includes all public records relating to communications between Commissioner Persichilli and/or any employees of the New Jersey Department of Health with the Center for Disease Control and/or any employee of the Center for Disease Control relating to the April 13, 2020 Order.
    • This includes all public records relating to communications between Commissioner Persichilli and/or any employees of the New Jersey Department of Health with any Hospital, Nursing Home, Long Term Care Facility, Veterans Home or Comprehensive Rehabilitation Hospital and/or their executives, administrators or employees relating to the April 13, 2020 Order.

Based on a report from the New York Attorney General, New York’s Directive, which is substantively identical to the Directive issued by Commissioner Persichilli, “may have put residents at increased risk of harm in some facilities and may have obscured the data available to assess that risk.”

  • Please provide copies of all public records including but not limited to letters, emails, text messages, instant messages, notes, memos, reports, power points and/or electronic recordings relating to the Department of Health’s evaluation of whether the Directive created an increased risk of harm in some facilities or obscured data available to assess that risk.
  • Please provide copies of all public records including but not limited to letters, emails, text messages, instant messages, notes, memos, reports, power points and/or electronic recordings relating to Commissioner Persichilli’s and/or the Department of Health’s review and evaluation of the New York Attorney General’s “Nursing Home Response to Covid-19 Pandemic.”

On May 7, 2020, the Department of Health set up a complaint hotline that allowed the reporting of issues at long-term care facilities.

  • Please provide copies of all public records including but not limited to letters, emails, text messages, instant messages, notes, memos, reports, power points and/or electronic recordings relating to complaints received through the Department of Health’s complaint hotline and/or its online complaint reporting platform.
    • This includes all public records relating to communications between Commissioner Persichilli and/or any employee of the New Jersey Department of Health with Governor Murphy and/or any member of the Governor’s staff, relating to complaints received through the telephone or online complaint hotlines.
    • This includes all public records relating to communications between Commissioner Persichilli and/or any employee of the New Jersey Department of Health with Attorney General Grewal or any employees within the Office of the Attorney General, and/or the Department of Law and Public Safety, relating to complaints received through the telephone or online complaint hotlines.
    • This includes all public records relating to communications between Commissioner Persichilli and/or any employees of the New Jersey Department of Health with any Hospital, Nursing Home, Long Term Care Facility, Veterans Home or Comprehensive Rehabilitation Hospital and/or their executives, administrators or employees relating to complaints received through the telephone or online complaint hotlines.

In addition to the foregoing, I hereby request copies of all public records, including but not limited to letters, emails, text messages, instant messages, notes, memos, reports, power points and/or electronic recordings, relating to the Department of Health’s reporting/publication of Covid-19 deaths in any Hospital, Nursing Home, Long Term Care Facility, Veterans Home or Comprehensive Rehabilitation Hospital.

 

 

Respectfully,

 

 

Jack Ciattarelli

Jack 4 NJ