The Department of Justice (DOJ) has formally declined to investigate nursing homes policies in New York, Pennsylvania, and Michigan that led to thousands of senior citizens needlessly dying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
Democrat Govs. Andrew Cuomo of New York, Tom Wolf of Pennsylvania, and Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan were informed in writing this week from the DOJ Civil Rights Division that nursing home investigations launched by former President Donald Trump will be closed. In August 2020, Trump’s DOJ told the three Democrat governors, as well as New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, to provide data sets regarding nursing home fatalities. Murphy’s state has not yet been notified by Biden’s DOJ.
Cuomo, Wolf, and Whitmer especially have been lambasted for sending COVID-positive seniors back to nursing homes. Last month, for instance, Michigan’s auditor general reportedly launched an investigation into Whitmer’s role in the significant number of long-term care facility deaths.
Reacting to the DOJ’s letters, House Minority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., sounded off on the Biden administration’s “outrageous” decision-making.
“Where is the justice for nursing home victims and their grieving families?” Scalise said. “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.”
House Republican Conference Chair Elise Stefanik of New York released a statement slamming the DOJ for failing to hold Cuomo accountable for his missteps. The New York governor is still the target of two probes by the FBI and Brooklyn U.S. Attorney’s Office, respectively.
“This decision from President Biden’s Department of Justice makes President Biden complicit in the criminal corruption scandal and coverup of deaths of thousands of vulnerable seniors,” Stefanik said. “New Yorkers deserve answers and accountability.”
Republicans in Pennsylvania previously attempted to investigate Wolf’s handling of the pandemic. Back in March, state Reps. Mike Kelly, Fred Keller, Dan Meuser, and others announced a probe. Rachel Levine, Pennsylvania’s former health secretary whom Biden nominated to be the federal assistant health secretary, has been the subject of much criticism for directing nursing homes to take patients while removing his own mother from a care facility.
While the DOJ made the decision to dismiss credible blue-state COVID-19 failures, New Jersey is not out of the woods. Murphy’s state is being investigated by the government in connection with the state district attorney’s office, as noted in a document sent by Deputy Assistant Attorney General Joe Gaeta to Scalise’s office Friday.