DOJ Wants to Know: Democrat Governors’ Orders Killing Elderly

 

justice and COVID-19The Department of Justice is demanding detailed information from a group of four governors who may have wrongly caused the death of the elderly and vulnerable living in nursing homes. The Department of Justice is giving the governors two weeks to answer a set of pointed questions. 

Wednesday, August 26, 2020
Department of Justice Requesting Data From Governors of States that Issued COVID-19 Orders that May Have Resulted in Deaths of Elderly Nursing Home Residents

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

Today the Justice Department requested COVID-19 data from the governors of states that issued orders which may have resulted in the deaths of thousands of elderly nursing home residents. New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Michigan required nursing homes to admit COVID-19 patients to their vulnerable populations, often without adequate testing. 

For example, on March 25, 2020, New York ordered: “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.”

“Protecting the rights of some of society’s most vulnerable members, including elderly nursing home residents, is one of our country’s most important obligations,” said Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights Division Eric Dreiband. “We must ensure they are adequately cared for with dignity and respect and not unnecessarily put at risk.”

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. New Jersey’s death rate by population is 1,733 deaths per million people – the highest in the nation. In contrast, Texas’s death rate by population is 380 deaths per million people; and Texas has just over 11,000 deaths, though its population is 50 percent larger than New York and has many more recorded cases of COVID-19 – 577,537 cases in Texas versus 430,885 cases in New York. Florida’s COVID-19 death rate is 480 deaths per million; with total deaths of 10,325 and a population slightly larger than New York.

The Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division is evaluating whether to initiate investigations under the federal “Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act” (CRIPA), which protects the civil rights of persons in state-run nursing homes, among others. The Civil Rights Division 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.

On March 3, 2020, the Attorney General announced the Justice Department’s National Nursing Home Initiative. This is a comprehensive effort by the department, led by the Elder Justice Initiative and in strong partnership with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that uses every available tool to pursue nursing homes that provide substandard care to their residents. As announced on April 10, 2020, the department is also investigating the Soldiers’ Home in Holyoke, Massachusetts, where COVID-19 has taken the lives of at least 76 residents. https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/federal-investigation-conditions-nursing-home-veterans-massachusetts-announced

The data requests and Soldiers’ Home investigation are not accusations of fault or wrongdoing by the states or any other individual or entity, and the department has not reached any conclusions about these matters.

Attachment(s): 

Download Letter to Governor Cuomo
Download Letter to Governor Murphy
Download Letter to Governor Wolf
Download Letter to Governor Whitmer

Here is one of the letters:

August 26, 2020

The Honorable Andrew Cuomo Governor of New York State

NYS State Capitol Building Albany, NY 12224

Dear Governor Cuomo:

I write to request information regarding COVID-19 and nursing homes run by, or for, the State of New York, as defined in more detail hereafter. The Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice enforces the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act (CRIPA). See 42 U.S.C. § 1997. The Division is evaluating whether to open a CRIPA investigation of institutions “providing skilled nursing, intermediate or long-term care, or custodial or residential care” that are “owned, operated, or managed by, or provide[] services on behalf of [New York] or [a] political subdivision of [New York]” (“Public Nursing Homes”). To help us make this determination, the Division respectfully requests the following documents and information for each Public Nursing Home. Data should be provided on a Public Nursing Home-specific basis for each Public Nursing Home in the state.

1. The number of Public Nursing Home residents, employees, other staff, guests, and visitors who contracted COVID-19, regardless of where such persons contracted COVID-19.

2. The number of Public Nursing Home residents, employees, other staff, guests, and visitors who died of COVID-19 including those who died in a Public Nursing Home or after being transferred to a hospital or other medical facility, hospice, home care, or any other location.

3. All State-issued guidance, directives, advisories, or executive orders regarding admission of persons to Public Nursing Homes, including those previously superseded, as well as the dates each such document was in effect.

4. The number of persons who were admitted to a Public Nursing Home from a hospital or any other facility, hospice, home care, or other location after testing positive for COVID19 during the period the guidance or orders were in effect.

We have not reached any conclusions about this matter. In the Division’s many years of enforcing CRIPA, the good faith efforts of state, county, or local jurisdictions working with us have enabled us to resolve many matters amicably. We request the above information within 14 days. If you have any questions, please contact our office.

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  1. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Didn’t one or two of the Pacific northwest states have a lot of nursing home deaths, too? 

    I’m glad that my 94-year-old aunt in a southern California nursing home is OK. Her family recently had a birthday party for her. She was on one side of a glass patio door, and they were outside. Her mind has gone downhill since we visited her two years ago, so I don’t know if she’d recognize us now. I wish we could have gone out to visit her this spring, after our February in Texas, but with the covid-19 news starting to bear down on us we decided we’d better head home instead. I thought we might fly out for a visit after the coronavirus blew over, but that hasn’t happened yet. And getting on a plane and sharing the air with other passengers is about at the bottom of my to-do list now. 

     

     

    • #1
  2. Old Vines Thatcher
    Old Vines
    @OldVines

    While some sort of examination of how these decisions and the terrible mistakes they turned out to be is absolutely necessary, this could turn into partisan “law fare” pretty quickly. Using the justice mechanisms of the state to look at the political opposition is a dangerous path. DOJ must be careful to keep this from becoming the Republican equivalent of the NY AG’s NRA witch-hunt. 

    • #2
  3. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown
    @CliffordBrown

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Didn’t one or two of the Pacific northwest states have a lot of nursing home deaths, too?

    I’m glad that my 94-year-old aunt in a southern California nursing home is OK. Her family recently had a birthday party for her. She was on one side of a glass patio door, and they were outside. Her mind has gone downhill since we visited her two years ago, so I don’t know if she’d recognize us now. I wish we could have gone out to visit her this spring, after our February in Texas, but with the covid-19 news starting to bear down on us we decided we’d better head home instead. I thought we might fly out for a visit after the coronavirus blew over, but that hasn’t happened yet. And getting on a plane and sharing the air with other passengers is about at the bottom of my to-do list now.

     

     

    Actually, WA and CA got this kind of right, imposing very restrictive protections early. The first known outbreak was indeed in a Seattle area nursing home.

    • #3
  4. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown
    @CliffordBrown

    Old Vines (View Comment):

    While some sort of examination of how these decisions and the terrible mistakes they turned out to be is absolutely necessary, this could turn into partisan “law fare” pretty quickly. Using the justice mechanisms of the state to look at the political opposition is a dangerous path. DOJ must be careful to keep this from becoming the Republican equivalent of the NY AG’s NRA witch-hunt.

    Odds of the DOJ becoming an effective Trump/Republican tool? Just about nil, as we have all observed. The DOJ is actually doing its duty, for once. What is unusual is that they are looking into politically favored Democrats, not targets of the party.

    • #4
  5. DonG (skeptic) Coolidge
    DonG (skeptic)
    @DonG

    The Reticulator (View Comment):
    Didn’t one or two of the Pacific northwest states have a lot of nursing home deaths, too?

    The difference is the policy of putting sick folks into facilities of healthy folks.

    I am glad to see this investigation. We the people deserve answers. 

    Next up, I want the FDA investigated for delays of treatments. 

    • #5
  6. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown
    @CliffordBrown

    DonG (skeptic) (View Comment):

    The Reticulator (View Comment):
    Didn’t one or two of the Pacific northwest states have a lot of nursing home deaths, too?

    The difference is the policy of putting sick folks into facilities of healthy folks.

    I am glad to see this investigation. We the people deserve answers.

    Next up, I want the FDA investigated for delays of treatments.

    Hear, hear!

     

    • #6
  7. ToryWarWriter Thatcher
    ToryWarWriter
    @ToryWarWriter

    At the end of the Second World War we knew what to do with government officials who did what these Governor did.

    • #7
  8. Doctor Robert Member
    Doctor Robert
    @DoctorRobert

    Why not Massachusetts fer Krissakes? Our Guv sent infected homies back to their nursing homes and had 76 vets die under one of his hack’s watch at the Holyoke Soldiers’ Home.

    Investigate Charlie Pahrker!

    • #8
  9. Nohaaj Coolidge
    Nohaaj
    @Nohaaj

    Doctor Robert (View Comment):

    Why not Massachusetts fer Krissakes? Our Guv sent infected homies back to their nursing homes and had 76 vets die under one of his hack’s watch at the Holyoke Soldiers’ Home.

    Investigate Charlie Pahrker!

    the Holyoke Soldiers Home policy is also being investigated.

    Here in PA, the Director of Health removed her (his- we call her Cousin It) Mom from her Senior Living facility and put her into a hotel, on the same day it made the order public. They knew this was bad policy, and would endanger the lives of the most vulnerable. But they did it anyways. Negligent homicide would be appropriate charges. I expect a slap on the wrist, if that. 

     

    • #9
  10. E. Kent Golding Member
    E. Kent Golding
    @EKentGolding

    Whitmer used Data and Science to kill off the old people.

    • #10
  11. 9thDistrictNeighbor Member
    9thDistrictNeighbor
    @9thDistrictNeighbor

    Regarding the letter to Cuomo, does anyone know what is the definition of “Public Nursing Home?” 

    Old Vines (View Comment):
    …this could turn into partisan “law fare” pretty quickly. Using the justice mechanisms of the state to look at the political opposition is a dangerous path.

    See Illinois. Pritzker specializes in this. All you need is a justice or two in your pocket and you can venue shop and impose most anything you like.

    • #11
  12. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    There is no point in investigating Andrew Cuomo. He has already investigated himself and found that he did an awesome job.

    • #12
  13. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    Clifford A. Brown: The Department of Justice is demanding detailed information from a group of four governors who may have wrongly caused the death of the elderly and vulnerable living in nursing homes. The Department of Justice is giving the governors two weeks to answer a set of pointed questions. 

    This is going to get very interesting very quickly, IMHO . . .

    • #13