NJ health commissioner defends state over long-term care COVID-19 deaths

New Jersey’s health commissioner was grilled during budget hearings Wednesday about how her department handled the pandemic at long-term care facilities, where thousands died during the first surge of COVID-19 in the state.

Commissioner Judy Persichilli said, “I stand by what we did.” She also said that variants of the coronavirus are driving infection rates, and that New Jersey may need to raise its goal of vaccinating 70% of the state’s adult population to 85% in order to achieve herd immunity.

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