The DoJ is officially considering whether to launch high-profile federal investigations into a handful of mostly Democratic governors who adopted regulations requiring hospitals to return COVID-19 positive patients to nursing homes or other long-term care facilities, a blunder that has been described as perhaps the biggest policy error of the entire US outbreak.
Put another way - the DoJ (which Dems will undoubtedly castigate for 'bowing to political pressure from the administration') is trying to prove that Gov Andrew Cuomo really did kill grandma.
How the hell is New York Governor Andrew Cuomo releasing a book in October about his pandemic response when NYC is still shut down & he literally turned nursing homes into grandma death factories?????— Ashley StClair 🇺🇸 (@stclairashley) August 18, 2020
In a press release published Wednesday afternoon, the DoJ's Civil Rights Division said it had requested data from New York, New Jersey, Michigan and Pennsylvania - all states with Democratic governors (though PA and MI are considered swing states) - about the timing of their mandatory return policies, and what input went into establishing them.
Cuomo has answered questions about the policy before; he's claimed that he reversed it as soon as he was made aware of what was happening. But clearly not fast enough to stop the Empire State from reporting the largest death toll in the country, both per capita and in terms of the standalone total.
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. According to Worldometer, NY reported a total of 32,984 deaths.
The goal is to determine whether there's enough there to launch an investigation under the "Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act" (CRIPA), which protects the civil rights of residents in state-run nursing homes. Specifically, they need to determine whether orders to mandate returning sick patients to the homes ultimately contributed to the higher rate of mortality.
Of course, even states like Texas, Florida and California, which are large states like New York, didn't see such pronounced fatalities - or anything close to it. Those states are all in the ballpark of 10k deaths, and they only just reached that level recently.
Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband told the AP that the federal government has a responsibility to ensure that nursing home residents are adequately cared for with "dignity and respect", and that their lives aren't put at undue risk.
Cuomo hasn't said anything about Wednesday's DoJ announcement - he's been too busy grandstanding about the new CDC guidelines, which he - and a group of other Democratic governors - claimed was part of a plot by Trump to cover up the coronavirus pandemic...or something like that.
NY Gov. Cuomo on new CDC testing guidelines for COVID-19: "Shame on the CDC for allowing the president to politically interfere with public health, and that's another lesson we have to learn here."https://t.co/idLbvidzrh— MSNBC (@MSNBC) August 26, 2020
It's not like New York and these other states ever cared about federal guidelines before? Why should they start now?