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DOJ says no probe into state-run nursing houses in New York

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ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — The Justice Division has determined to not open a civil rights investigation into government-run nursing houses in New York over their COVID-19 response, in keeping with a letter despatched Friday to a number of Republican members of Congress.

Below former President Donald Trump’s administration, the division’s civil rights division requested information final August from 4 states — New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Michigan — concerning the variety of COVID-19 infections and deaths in public nursing houses.

The request got here amid still-unanswered questions on whether or not some states, particularly New York, inadvertently worsened the pandemic dying toll by requiring nursing houses to simply accept residents beforehand hospitalized for COVID-19.

In a letter despatched to a number of Republicans who had demanded an investigation, Deputy Assistant Lawyer Normal Joe Gaeta mentioned civil rights division attorneys had reviewed the info despatched by New York, together with extra data.

“Based mostly on that assessment, we’ve got determined to not open a CRIPA investigation of any public nursing facility inside New York right now,” Gaeta wrote, referring to the federal Civil Rights of Institutionalized Individuals Act, which empowers the Justice Division to analyze allegations about illegal circumstances in government-run residences.

The Justice Division despatched related letters earlier within the week to officers in Pennsylvania and Michigan.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s spokesperson, Richard Azzopardi, declined to remark.

Cuomo, a Democrat, has beforehand accused Trump’s Division of Justice of initiating the inquiry for purely political causes. He has additionally defended the choice to bar nursing houses from rejecting COVID-19 sufferers in the course of the worst weeks of the pandemic, saying the state was determined on the time to maneuver recovering sufferers out of overwhelmed hospitals.

Friday’s letter does not tackle the standing of different Justice Division inquiries into how the Cuomo administration dealt with information associated to COVID-19 outbreaks at nursing houses.

Federal prosecutors have been analyzing the governor’s coronavirus process power and making an attempt to find out whether or not the state deliberately manipulated information relating to nursing dwelling deaths, The Related Press beforehand reported.

Greater than 15,800 individuals have died in nursing houses and assisted residing residences in New York. The state’s unique depend of the useless had been a lot decrease as a result of it had excluded 1000’s of people that bought contaminated in nursing houses, however died in hospitals.

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