WASHINGTON – Congressman Tom Reed (R-Corning) said Thursday that he supports the Department of Justice requesting data on New York’s nursing home fatalities and the announcement it may further investigate the state’s nursing home policies.
On Wednesday the DOJ announced it had opened a preliminary inquiry into the coronavirus nursing home policies of New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Michigan that it says “may have resulted in the deaths of thousands of elderly nursing home residents.”
The DOJ media release said the state “required nursing homes to admit COVID-19 patients to their vulnerable populations, often without adequate testing.”
In response, Reed said, “We welcome the Department Of Justice’s initial foray into the issue of Governor Cuomo’s disastrous nursing home orders and the state’s refusal to share any nursing home fatality data.”
Reed said that his office, along with lawmakers at the federal and state level, members of the media, and public health experts, have all been calling for an independent investigation into the state’s handling of nursing home residents who tested positive for COVID-19 during the early weeks of the pandemic. From late March to mid April, the state directed nursing homes and senior care facilities to admit patients who had been diagnosed with COVID-19, which some say escalated the spread of the virus and led to deaths of thousands elderly residents.
“For far too long, Governor Cuomo and the Department of Health have refused to end the charade and own up to their mistakes, instead opting to obfuscate the truth and promote a medically dubious report that declared themselves free of any blame,” Reed added. “This important first step could finally help New Yorkers who lost a parent or grandparent receive the accountability and transparency they deserve. As we have said repeatedly, getting to the bottom of the state’s ‘must admit’ orders will also help us ensure our nation’s parents and grandparents are never knowingly placed in harm’s way again.”