Private Text Reveals Gottheimer Ignored Dying Veterans in Paramus Facility

October 27, 2020

Republican candidate Frank Pallotta is releasing the following information about events that transpired in April regarding Josh Gottheimer’s refusal to support first responders and Veterans amid the COVID-19 pandemic: 

“Josh Gottheimer loves to mention how much he cares about veterans, seniors, and first responders. However, I think it is important for his district to know that when Josh Gottheimer was asked to visit the grounds of the Paramus Veterans Memorial Home to stand outside the facility and show our Veterans he cares about them, he declined to even show up. 

 Former Deputy Commissioner of NJ Military and Veteran Affairs, Mark Piterski said that he personally asked the Congressman to come to the facility in a show of support for our brave Veterans and care workers who had been working around the clock. He even gave the Congressman the option to stand more than 150 feet away from the building, but he still refused to show up.  

Gottheimer’s text response from his own cell phone stated: ‘Right now we are trying to set a good example – unless we absolutely need to be somewhere.’ He also suggested he’s “not essential” and could record ‘a thank you’ instead, so he wouldn’t have to leave his home. 

Gottheimer blamed Gov. Murphy’s Executive Order, explaining that the Order declared it ‘non-essential’ for him to be there. It’s clear that Gottheimer could have easily stood in the parking lot more than 50 yards away from the main entrance, to wave to our first responders and affirm his support. 

I cannot fathom what went through the Congressman’s head that he couldn’t simply stand alone in a parking lot to acknowledge their service and good work. How ‘non-essential’ are veterans and first responders in his district? These Veterans fought around the globe for our freedom, and Josh couldn’t drive 5 miles to show his respect. He could have worn a mask, or even a hazmat suit, to give our dying veterans and brave health care workers at least a wave of support. Leaders are supposed to lead. Clearly Josh didn’t get that memo. 

Josh Gottheimer’s proposed bill to ‘protect seniors in long-term care facilities from COVID-19’ is insulting, given the fact that many of those deaths could have been avoided, had he acted appropriately. Josh was in a position to help minimize those deaths, but refused to speak up. Josh Gottheimer is now attempting to pour water on a fire after it already burned the house down, with everyone inside.”