Rusty Weiss – The Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that they are requesting information from New York regarding pandemic-related orders that might have led to the deaths of thousands of seniors in nursing homes. nursing home deaths
They are also seeking information from New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Michigan, where Democrat governors likewise issued orders which forced elderly patients testing positive for coronavirus to be admitted into senior care facilities.
“Today the Justice Department requested COVID-19 data from the governors of states that issued orders which may have resulted in the deaths of thousands of elderly nursing home residents,” a statement reads.
“New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Michigan required nursing homes to admit COVID-19 patients to their vulnerable populations, often without adequate testing,” it continues.
Could a more thorough investigation be far behind?
Oh my goodness. I’m in tears. https://t.co/I5IVsAQVDV
— Janice Dean (@JaniceDean) August 26, 2020
Cuomo Must Answer
Fox News Meteorologist and contributor Janice Dean, who has been a fierce critic of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s nursing home policy, celebrated the news on social media.
“Oh my goodness. I’m in tears,” she wrote.
Dean strongly believes Cuomo’s policy helped lead to the coronavirus deaths of her husband’s parents.
“My family didn’t have to die,” she wrote in a column last month.
Now it would seem, the DOJ is equally as interested in Cuomo’s actions during the height of the pandemic.
A letter issued to Cuomo states that the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act (CRIPA) is evaluating whether or not to open an investigation.
— Janice Dean (@JaniceDean) July 22, 2020
New York – The Worst Response to COVID in the Nation nursing home deaths
While the statement mentions other states, and letters were issued to three other Democrat governors, New York is singled out for their handling of nursing homes during the pandemic.
They reference a March 25th executive order which forced nursing homes to take on patients that had tested positive for coronavirus and prohibited facilities from requiring incoming patients “to be tested for COVID-19 prior to admission or readmission.”
Cuomo refused to reverse that directive for several weeks while well over 6,500 senior citizens – perhaps many more – succumbed to the virus.
As I've noted in a few columns now, @NYGovCuomo and the state's health department have refused to provide truthful data on New York nursing home deaths. The DOJ seems ready to force the state's hand.https://t.co/sFBV07TqpI https://t.co/0x4zxHk0yF
— Chris Churchill (@chris_churchill) August 26, 2020
Cuomo issued a joint statement along with Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer which accused the DOJ of a political witch hunt.
The statement includes two major falsehoods – that an investigation into the actions that took the lives of thousands of seniors is “nakedly partisan” and that their directive was the fault of the Trump administration itself.
“DOJ should send a letter to CMS and CDC since the state’s advisories were modeled after their guidance,” the governors responded.
NEW: Joint Statement from Governor Andrew Cuomo and Governor Gretchen Whitmer on the U.S. Department of Justice news that it is launching a review into how state orders impacted COVID-19 nursing home resident deaths pic.twitter.com/1bnWVAMVJo
— Morgan Mckay (@morganfmckay) August 26, 2020
The reality is, there has already been a bipartisan effort to get answers on the nursing home scandal out of the Governor’s office, to which they have stonewalled.
Last week, State Senator Jim Tedisco, a Republican, and Assemblyman Ron Kim, a Democrat, joined lawmakers from both parties in demanding establishment of an independent, unbiased and bi-partisan review of what happened in the state’s nursing homes.
As for pointing a finger at the CDC? Well, that has already been thoroughly debunked.
ProPublica issued a report stating (emphasis mine) “New York was the only state in the nation that barred testing of those being placed or returning to nursing homes” with his executive order.
What happened next, they wrote, was “COVID-19 tore through New York state’s nursing facilities, killing more than 6,000 people.”
Not surprising @NYGovCuomo ignores House call for docs, briefings on nursing home deaths. He called the tragedy “political” and a “shiny object.” We want answers and accountability from this leader who forced our seniors in harms way. https://t.co/JNgtiUul3k
— Janice Dean (@JaniceDean) June 19, 2020
Politifact rated the New York Democrat’s claim that the CDC was to blame “mostly false”. They argue that the CDC didn’t force nursing homes’ hands but, by contrast, Cuomo left them feeling that “they had no choice but to accept these patients.”
Cuomo has insisted he welcomes an investigation into his handling of the crisis stating, “If the federal government wants to start a probe, then they can start a probe.”
However, the New York Post reported that he “refused a request by Congressional Republicans to provide documents and a staff briefing regarding the state’s handling of the COVID-19 crisis.”
Thank you to all the wonderful people in Albany who invited me to be part of proposed legislation to find answers for all those who lost loved ones to Covid in nursing homes. This is not about politics. It’s about finding the truth and making sure it never happens again. pic.twitter.com/23ZNBPCiWI
— Janice Dean (@JaniceDean) August 19, 2020
Perhaps now New York’s governor will take his wretched response to the pandemic – by far the worst in the nation – seriously now that the DOJ is involved, rather than celebrating by selling self-drawn posters lauding his work, appearing on late-night television to discuss his love life during these trying times, and now writing a book about his failed response.
It’s worth noting that New York, even after surges in other parts of the country, has an abysmally poor death rate, still ranking higher than twice the number of the next closest state.