New Jersey health commissioner presents $2.2B budget proposal, answers questions about pandemic response

Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli was praised Monday for her work during the COVID-19 pandemic but also faced questions on metrics used to determine when businesses will reopen and virus outbreaks at long-term care facilities during an Assembly Budget Committee hearing.

The Health Commissioner presented her $2.2 billion budget to the committee, which includes an additional $6 million for staffing large scale vaccination programs, Persichilli said.

The department has been criticized for its reaction to long-term care facilities, as about 40 percent of all COVID-19 deaths in the states were tied to them. A report issued in June made 36 recommendations; the department has met 24
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