Listen Live

The Department of Justice announced Wednesday that it is requesting data from governors of four states that implemented coronavirus policies that may have resulted in deaths of the elderly at nursing homes.

“Data will help inform whether the Department of Justice will initiate investigations under the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act (CRIPA) regarding New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Michigan’s response to COVID-19 in public nursing homes,” the DOJ wrote on their website.

On March 25, 2020, New York issued the following order: “No resident shall be denied re-admission or admission to [a nursing home] solely based on a confirmed or suspected diagnosis of COVID-19. [Nursing homes] are prohibited from requiring a hospitalized resident who is determined medically stable to be tested for COVID-19 prior to admission or readmission.”

From the DOJ:

According to the Centers for Disease Control, New York has the highest number of COVID-19 deaths in the United States, with 32,592 victims, many of them elderly. New York’s death rate by population is the second highest in the country with 1,680 deaths per million people.

Here’s Governor Andrew Cuomo in April of this year, deflecting blame for the high number of nursing home deaths:

And here he is blaming Trump for the high number of nursing home deaths before declaring in the same breath that there is no connection to the high number of nursing home deaths from Coronavirus and that policy:

WIBC host Tony Katz offered commentary on the investigation Thursday morning.

“We learned only recently that the number of deaths from Coronavirus in nursing homes was much higher than previously thought. We know this because if a nursing home patient died from COVID-19 at a hospital, it was not counted as a nursing home death. That’s a manipulation of the data.

“Nursing homes in New York were told that they had to accept new patients who had not been screened for Coronavirus. Nursing homes begged the state not to force them to take these patients and Cuomo said ‘no.’ And Cuomo refuses to accept any responsibility and says the real culprits are those careless nurses and the families.

“I’m very happy that the DOJ is looking into this. I want to know what happened and whether there is any criminality in this.”

Click below to hear Tony’s full commentary.