WASHINGTON (AP/KDKA) — The Justice Department is seeking coronavirus data about “orders which may have resulted in the deaths of thousands of elderly nursing home residents,” sending letters Wednesday to the governors of New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Michigan.
Officials say Wednesday that the Justice Department’s civil rights division is evaluating whether to initiate investigations under a federal law that protects the rights of people in state-run nursing homes and other facilities.READ MORE: Lawmakers Stalemated On Pennsylvania Congressional Map, Top Senator Says
Prosecutors are trying to determine whether state orders requiring admission of COVID-19 patients to nursing homes could have led to deaths.READ MORE: Pa. Nursing Loan Forgiveness Program's Popularity Outstrips Available Funding
Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband says the federal government must ensure vulnerable nursing home patients “are adequately cared for with dignity and respect and not unnecessarily put at risk.”
In June, state Health Secretary said the Health Department was following a March directive from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Center for Medicare Services that nursing homes “should admit any individuals that they would normally admit to their facility, including individuals from hospitals where a case of COVID-19 was/is present.”MORE NEWS: Pennsylvania Rolls Out ‘Strike Team’ To Ease Hospital Crunch
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