Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) said the Department of Justice's decision to end the investigations into nursing home deaths in New York, Michigan, Pennsylvania and New Jersey was "unconscionable."
Scalise was told Friday, in a letter from the Justice Department, that the investigations into the nursing home deaths that occurred during the coronavirus pandemic would be dropped, which prompted the congressman to call out the DOJ for not finding out the truth that plagued thousands of families following the loss of their loved ones.
There are still several investigations into @NYGovCuomo here in New York, and I will try to hold out hope for those to prevail, but for the families in Pennsylvania, Michigan, and New Jersey, this is a soul crushing day.— Janice Dean (@JaniceDean) July 23, 2021
“It is outrageous that the Department of Justice refuses to investigate the deadly ‘must admit’ orders issued by governors in New York, Pennsylvania, and Michigan that resulted in the deaths of thousands of senior citizens," Scalise said in a Friday statement. "Where is the justice for nursing home victims and their grieving families?"
"These deadly orders contradicted the CDC’s guidance, and needlessly endangered the most vulnerable among us to the deadly COVID-19 virus," he continued. "Even worse, Governor Cuomo in New York intentionally tried to cover up the true death toll resulting from his mandate. Grieving families deserve answers and accountability. It’s unconscionable that Biden’s Department of Justice refuses to investigate the deadly actions that went against CDC’s medical guidance taken in these states.”
The DOJ’s Civil Rights Division requested information from New York in August pertaining to a March 25, 2020 order from the state Health Department that required nursing homes to house “medically stable” COVID-19 patients who had been discharged from hospitals.
It also asked for records from Pennsylvania, Michigan and New Jersey, all of which enacted similar rules that “may have resulted in the deaths of thousands of elderly nursing home residents,” according to the DOJ.
Even after these investigations were dropped by the DOJ, other investigations into New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) surrounding his role in the state's nursing home deaths are still ongoing. He is facing a probe by the FBI and the Brooklyn US Attorney’s Office that is potentially more serious after a top aide said privately that the administration covered up the number of nursing home residents' COVID-19 deaths.
The probe includes how Cuomo handled nursing homes during the pandemic, as well as his $5.1 million book deal, according to state Senate Health Committee Chairman Gustavo Rivera (D-The Bronx).
Families in Michigan, Pennsylvania and New Jersey will not receive justice for their loved ones.