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Department of Justice building in Washington, D.C.Shutterstock

WASHINGTON, July 27, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — The Biden administration’s Department of Justice (DOJ) has refused to investigate COVID-19 nursing home mandates issued in four Democrat-led states which likely facilitated the premature deaths of thousands of elderly and frail residents last year.

In March, U.S. Congressman Steve Scalise (R-LA), a ranking member of the House Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis, joined five Senators in addressing a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland requesting the DOJ continue its investigation into whether or not state officials from New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Michigan, violated federal guidelines in pressuring long-term care facilities to admit COVID-19 positive patients, endangering the health and lives of this most vulnerable part of the population.

This preliminary investigation began in August of last year under the Trump administration when the DOJ made an initial request for the governors of these states to submit COVID-19 data to help the department determine whether or not to “initiate [formal] investigations under the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act (CRIPA)” against officials of these states.

Four months after the March request, Scalise received a response late last week from Deputy Assistant Attorney General Joe Gaeta informing him that each state did provide the information requested, the DOJ had reviewed this data, and “based on that review, we have decided not to open a CRIPA investigation of any public nursing facility within New York, Pennsylvania, or Michigan,” although two such investigations of facilities remained ongoing in New Jersey.

“It is outrageous that the Department of Justice refuses to investigate the deadly ‘must admit’ orders issued by [these] governors … that resulted in the deaths of thousands of senior citizens,” said Scalise in a released statement. “Where is the justice for nursing home victims and their grieving families?”

“These deadly orders contradicted the CDC’s guidance, and needlessly endangered the most vulnerable among us to the deadly COVID-19 virus,” he said.

As statistics showed in May of last year, “an astounding 42% of all COVID-19 deaths” happened in nursing homes and assisted living facilities, which house only 0.62% of the U.S. population.

In New Jersey, Democrat Gov. Phil Murphy approved a directive by Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli requiring nursing homes to admit patients who were suffering from COVID-19, despite warnings to his administration that many would needlessly die.

During a March 31, 2020, conference call with hundreds of long-term care facility operators, hosted by Persichilli, one administrator challenged the directive, stating, “You understand that by asking us to take COVID patients, by demanding we take COVID patients, that patients will die in nursing homes that wouldn’t have otherwise died had we screened them out.”

With the three other Democrat governors adopting similar policies, these four states alone (New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Michigan) accounted for 23 percent of all COVID-19 nursing home deaths in the nation, according to data published in early March.

In New York, this same policy, along with the apparent cover-up of the nursing home death toll, helped elicit calls for Gov. Andrew Cuomo to resign. Those calls are coming even from members of his own party.

“Even worse,” continued Scalise, “Governor Cuomo in New York intentionally tried to cover up the true death toll resulting from his mandate. 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.”


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