The Department of Justice’s civil rights division will not launch investigations into nursing homes in New York City and other states whose governors have forced facilities to admit COVID-19 patients despite their vulnerable populations, a informed GOP lawmakers on Friday.
However, an investigation by federal prosecutors into New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and his administration into their handling of the crisis remains ongoing.
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In a letter to the House subcommittee on the coronavirus crisis, Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., Assistant Deputy Attorney General Joe Gaeta wrote that the agency’s civil rights division has “decided not to open [Civil Rights of Institutional Persons Act] investigating any public nursing facility in New York, Pennsylvania or Michigan at present “after reviewing information sent to them by the respective states.
The move seemed like good news for Cuomo, and possibly better news for Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf and Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, who, like Cuomo, are Democrats.
The Civil Rights Division – which has the power to investigate illegal conditions in local or state-run nursing homes – is currently investigating two facilities in New Jersey, which is also led by a Democrat, Gov. Phil Murphy.
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The Times Union of Albany, New York, reported that the FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Brooklyn have launched an investigation into Cuomo’s Nursing Home Order and allegations that his administration underreported them. deaths from COVID-19 in facilities in a purported effort to avoid political problems. To fall. This investigation, launched at the request of a delegation of New York lawmakers, is still ongoing.
The newspaper also reported that New York City has a small number of government-run nursing homes that would fall under the jurisdiction of the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division, with just 7% of the 630 nursing homes in the area. State managed by state or local agencies.
Meanwhile, Republicans have castigated the DOJ’s decision not to open investigations into Democratic-led states.
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“This ruling by President Biden’s Justice Department makes President Biden complicit in the criminal corruption scandal and cover-up of the deaths of thousands of vulnerable seniors,” wrote Elise Stefanik, House Republican and New York representative. , in a statement following the DOJ letter, saying, “New Yorkers deserve answers and responsibilities.”
“I was the first Congressman to call for an investigation into Governor Cuomo’s corrupt criminal cover-up and I will continue to fight for the families who have lost loved ones to our Governor’s cruelty and corruption.” she continued, adding, “Tens of thousands of heartbroken New Yorkers are counting on us to deliver justice to their loved ones. We will never give up. “
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