U.S. Justice Department Declines To Open Probe Into Cuomo’s Handling Of COVID-19 In Nursing Homes


The U.S. Division of Justice is not going to pursue an investigation into whether or not Governor Andrew Cuomo’s controversial nursing dwelling coverage through the early days of the pandemic violated civil rights, in keeping with a letter the company despatched to federal legislators demanding a probe.

An legal professional with the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division broke the information in a letter to Republican Louisiana Rep. Steve Scalise, rating member of the Home Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Disaster. The company had sought info figuring out whether or not Cuomo violated the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Individuals Act after issuing an govt order in March 2020 requiring state-run nursing houses to simply accept coronavirus sufferers that have been charged from hospitals. It stays unclear whether or not the order instantly led to the virus spreading inside nursing houses, leading to deaths. In July final 12 months, well being officers launched a state-sponsored research denying that the coverage led to elevated fatalities inside nursing houses.

The Related Press reported in February that over 9,000 sufferers on the mend from COVID-19 have been transferred beneath this coverage, which constituted 40% greater than what state officers beforehand launched to the general public.

In August, the DOJ, beneath then President Donald Trump, sought information associated to Cuomo’s order. In October, the DOJ despatched a letter to the New York state well being division asking for information on non-public nursing houses and different long-term care services. Investigators additionally requested comparable info from well being departments in Pennsylvania, Michigan, and New Jersey, in keeping with the letter by Deputy Assistant Legal professional Normal Joe Gaeta.

“We now have reviewed the knowledge offered by these states together with extra info out there to the Division. Primarily based on that evaluate, we’ve got determined to not open a CRIPA investigation of any public nursing facility inside New York, Pennsylvania, or Michigan presently,” Gaeta wrote.

The DOJ’s resolution to not pursue an investigation rankled Republicans who seen the choice as politically motivated.

“Households who misplaced family members deserve higher,” Scalise mentioned in a tweet.

His colleague, New York Rep. Elise Stefanik, mentioned in an announcement that the choice “makes President Biden complicit within the felony corruption scandal and coverup of deaths of hundreds of susceptible seniors.”

Although the Cuomo administration is off the hook from this inquiry, they nonetheless face a potential felony probe by the Brooklyn U.S. Legal professional and FBI over whether or not the administration undercounted the variety of nursing dwelling deaths.

Cuomo can be the topic of quite a few investigations, starting from allegations of sexual harassment as to if he used state sources for his $5 million guide deal.

A spokesperson for Cuomo didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.