On August 26, 2020, the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice announced that it had requested COVID-19 information from the governors of four states—Michigan, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania—in which nursing homes had been ordered to admit patients who tested positive for the coronavirus. The Civil Rights Division stated that it “seeks to determine if the state orders requiring admission of COVID-19 patients to nursing homes is responsible for the deaths of nursing home residents.”
In its announcement, the Civil Rights Division drew special attention to the State of New York, noting that “New York has the highest number of COVID-19 deaths in the United States, with 32,592 victims, many of them elderly” and adding that “New York’s death rate by population is the second highest in the country with 1,680 deaths per million people.”
The Justice Department’s announcement is a welcome one. According to the New York Post, Asm. Ron Kim (D-Queens) commented, “‘It’s the right thing to do. We need to know if any of the policies contributed to the deaths of 6,400 nursing home residents… What happened to nursing home residents is a human right violation.’” U.S. Department of Health and Human Services spokesman Michael Caputo added, “‘For months, Gov. Andrew Cuomo has been ducking his personal responsibility for ordering the seeding of New York nursing homes with the coronavirus, a tragic mistake which killed thousands of grandmothers and grandfathers… Thankfully, a federal investigation has begun, far from the dark and cynical manipulations of the second floor of the New York State Capitol.’”
New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms applauds the Justice Department’s attempt to find the truth about Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s disastrous COVID-19 nursing home mandate. We urge the Cuomo administration to fully cooperate with the Justice Department instead of covering up the truth.