Zeldin denounces Justice Department ruling against investigation of COVID-19 deaths in New York State nursing homes – .

Zeldin denounces Justice Department ruling against investigation of COVID-19 deaths in New York State nursing homes – .

The US Department of Justice has decided not to open a civil rights investigation into how nursing homes run by the New York State government have responded to the COVID-19 crisis Last year.

The decision drew fire from Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley) who called it a “gift” to Governor Andrew Cuomo by the Biden administration.

Families and loved ones of nursing home residents who died from COVID-19 “deserve transparency, accountability and the truth about the length of the Cuomo administration’s cover-up and corruption,” Zeldin said in a statement yesterday. He accused Biden’s Justice Department of participating in “the effort to deny public responses and accountability.”

Zeldin and other Republican members of the New York congressional delegation requested the investigation last year, and in early February requested an update on his status. The DOJ’s civil rights division informed members on Friday that it would not open an investigation into state-run nursing homes.

The Civil Rights Division requested information from the state last summer, according to a letter written by a lawyer for the agency, and after reviewing the information provided, decided not to open an investigation under d ‘a federal law that allows DOJ to prosecute violations under the law. Institutional Civil Rights Act. This law only concerns facilities managed by the government.

“About 7% of New York City nursing homes are state-run, and the families of victims who died in these nursing homes and elsewhere deserve to be held accountable and the truth,” Zeldin said in a statement yesterday.

The letter did not address the status of other Justice Department investigations into how the Cuomo administration handled the COVID-19 outbreak in private nursing homes or how it handled data related to illnesses and deaths from COVID-19 among nursing home residents.

In October, the Justice Department wrote to the State Department of Health requesting data from private facilities, including the number of private nursing home residents, employees and other staff who contacted COVID-19, the number of people who died from the disease, whether their deaths occurred in the nursing home or after being transferred to a hospital, hospice or other facility, and the number of people admitted to a private nursing home from a hospital, hospice or other facility after testing positive for COVID-19.

The Justice Department has the power to investigate “grossly substandard care” for Medicare and Medicaid recipients, Zeldin said.

According to the New York Times, the FBI is investigating whether members of the Cuomo administration provided false data to the Department of Justice regarding the deaths of nursing home residents.

The Cuomo administration has come under scrutiny over a State Department of Health order issued on March 25, 2020 requiring nursing homes to accept confirmed or suspected COVID-19 patients “Medically stable”. The directive even prohibited nursing homes from requiring a COVID-19 test before admission or readmission to the home.

“No resident will be denied readmission or admission to NH solely on the basis of a confirmed or suspected diagnosis of COVID-19,” the directive said, citing “an urgent need to expand hospital capacity in New York” .

See the story of April 17, 2020:

After the order became public, the governor denied that it had any impact on the spread of the disease in nursing homes or the number of deaths from COVID-19 in facilities. The Department of Health repealed its March 25 directive on May 10, 2020, after its disclosure sparked outrage from families and advocates for nursing home residents.

“Governor Cuomo’s retirement home order… resulted in the needless deaths of thousands of New Yorkers,” Zeldin said yesterday. “The Justice Department’s decision to drop an investigation, without providing any reasoning to the public, further denies the responses of these families and fails to address the widespread corruption of the Cuomo administration” to cover up the real consequences of his failed policy, ”said Zeldin, who is seeking the Republican nomination for governor in 2022.

The state’s method of reporting data on infections and deaths has been widely criticized as incomplete and misleading, and drew allegations that the state was trying to conceal the data to evade responsibility for the impacts of its directive. controversial March 25.

An investigation by New York Attorney General Letitia James found that the state had underreported COVID-19 deaths in nursing homes by 50% because data reported by the state did not did not include nursing home residents who died in hospitals after being transferred from a nursing home where they contracted the disease.

After the GA released its report and after a court ordered the data to be made public in response to a lawsuit filed by the Empire Center, the state’s Department of Health began to disclose the full number of deaths of nursing home residents, which added thousands more deaths.

The total number of COVID-19 deaths among New York residents in nursing homes, assisted living facilities and other adult care facilities – confirmed and suspected cases in public and private facilities – stood at 15 673 through July 22, according to data reported yesterday by the state Department of Health.

State officials, including Gov. Secretary Melissa DeRosa, have admitted to hiding data from state lawmakers.

State Assembly impeachment inquiry examines both the administration’s handling of the COVID-19 nursing home crisis and allegations against the governor of sexual harassment and intimidation at the workplace. work.

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