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U.S. Justice Department will not investigate state-run nursing homes in New York

The request came amid questions about whether New York State officials inadvertently worsened the COVID pandemic death toll with some decisions.

ALBANY, N.Y. — The Justice Department says it has decided not to open a civil rights investigation into government-run nursing homes in New York over their COVID-19 response.

Under former President Donald Trump, the department’s civil rights division requested data from several states about COVID-19 deaths in public nursing homes.

The request came amid questions about whether New York inadvertently worsened the pandemic death toll by requiring nursing homes to accept residents previously hospitalized for COVID-19.

In a letter sent Friday to several Republican members of Congress, the Justice Department said it had decided not to open an investigation after reviewing data sent by the state.

New York State Senate Minority Leader Rob Ortt (R-North Tonawanda) had issued a statement on Friday evening, saying:

"It is no secret that Governor Andrew Cuomo's March 25th nursing home directive resulted in the unnecessary deaths of thousands of senior citizens here in New York. His administration lied and then covered it up. Then he lined his own pockets with $5.1 million dollars for his 'COVID leadership' book.

"To be clear, there is still an ongoing criminal investigation of the Cuomo Administration by the Eastern District of New York and the FBI.

"Public officials at every level should remember the thousands of families who lost a loved one in a nursing home. They deserve justice."


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