New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has issued a statement following the Justice Department's decision not to open a civil rights investigation into the state's COVID-19 response in its nursing homes.
Requests for data from the nursing homes had previously been made due to questions about whether New York and other states worsened the COVID-19 death toll by requiring the facilities to accept residents who had been hospitalized for COVID-19.
GOP Rep. Steve Scalise reported on Friday, July 23, that the Justice Department sent him a letter saying it would not open the investigation.
In a statement released on Monday, July 26, Cuomo called the allegation "outrageous" and said the state had followed guidance from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC).
"We followed the CDC guidance when it came to how we handled people in nursing homes and when they went to a hospital, when they were brought back to a nursing home," he said.
- Earlier report: COVID-19: DOJ Decision Not To Investigate NY Nursing Home Deaths Draws Criticism From GOP
Cuomo added that he believes the inquiry was politically motivated.
"It was toxic politics," the governor said. "It violated the basic concept of justice in this nation, and it did a lot of harm and a lot of damage. And it went on too long. I mean, this went on for like a year until finally the Department of Justice dismissed it."
Read his full statement here.
Some Republican lawmakers have criticized the Justice Department's decision.
"It is outrageous that the Department of Justice refuses to investigate the deadly ‘must admit’ orders issued by governors in New York, Pennsylvania, and Michigan that resulted in the deaths of thousands of senior citizens," Scalise said in a statement.
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