New York Republican Congressional Delegation Requests Answers from DOJ on Decision to Stop Investigating New York’s Public Nursing Home Deaths | Congressman Lee Zeldin

New York Republican Congressional Delegation Requests Answers from DOJ on Decision to Stop Investigating New York’s Public Nursing Home Deaths

August 4, 2021
Press Release

WASHINGTON - Congressman Lee Zeldin (R, NY-1) and his New York Republican Congressional Delegation colleagues sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland, requesting the answers and materials reviewed by President Biden’s Department of Justice (DOJ) in making the determination not to open a Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act (CRIPA) investigation into Governor Cuomo for his COVID-19 nursing home order and coverup.

“Andrew Cuomo engaged in blatant corruption to cover up the true consequences of his deadly nursing home order and had the audacity to sign an absurd $5.1 million self-congratulatory book deal praising his COVID ‘leadership’, all while New Yorkers were grieving and clamoring for answers. The families of the victims of Governor Cuomo’s failed leadership deserve transparency, accountability and the truth about the lengths of the Cuomo administration’s cover up and corruption,” said Congressman Lee Zeldin. “The Biden Department of Justice chose to willfully participate in the effort to deny the public answers and accountability, and give yet another gift to a corrupt governor, turning a blind eye to the facts, victims and public interest. The DOJ owes New Yorkers, especially the victims’ families, an explanation for why it has given Governor Cuomo another free pass in his continued pattern of corruption, cruelty and inhumanity.”

“Governor Cuomo believes he’s above the law. Corrupt Cuomo, who has now been exposed for his criminal sexual harassment and assault, still has yet to answer for covering up the deaths of thousands of seniors,” said Congresswoman Elise Stefanik. “The Department of Justice is tasked with upholding the rule of law and bringing those who violate the law to justice. It is inexcusable that the Biden Administration’s Department of Justice does not appear to believe the rule of law applies to Governor Cuomo. The DOJ is complicit in Cuomo’s blatantly criminal actions. I am demanding that the DOJ answer for its baseless decision not to open an investigation into Cuomo’s criminal conduct. How did the DOJ conclude Cuomo’s COVID-19 policies did not violate New Yorkers’ civil rights? Is the DOJ considering charges against Governor Cuomo for willfully withholding information from federal investigators?”

“After enacting a disastrous nursing home policy that contributed to the tragic deaths of thousands of seniors across New York State early in the COVID-19 pandemic, it is clear that the Cuomo Administration took deliberate steps to withhold accurate information from federal authorities and downplay the severity of this crisis,” said Congressman John Katko. “Families who lost loved ones deserve clarity as to why the Department of Justice declined to investigate these actions. Those at fault, including Governor Cuomo, must be held accountable.”

“Governor Cuomo has shown that he is incapable of taking responsibility for his actions,” said Congressman Andrew Garbarino. “He continues to deny sexual harassment allegations despite an investigation that concluded otherwise, just as he has continued to deny any wrongdoing or responsibility for the deaths of thousands of seniors that his actions caused or for the subsequent coverup. The families of those who lost their lives in New York nursing homes deserve answers. If the Department of Justice refuses to investigate Cuomo’s potentially criminal actions, then they must disclose what led them to the decision to turn a blind eye.”

“Governor Cuomo’s deadly decision to force COVID positive patients back into nursing homes caused the unnecessary deaths of thousands of seniors,” said Congressman Chris Jacobs. “The blatant attempts by him and his staff to cover-up the data show disregard for the rule of law. These seniors and their heartbroken families deserve justice. The DOJ’s decision to not pursue an investigation is a complete dereliction of duty.”

“It’s unconscionable that the Department of Justice dropped investigations into COVID nursing home policies in several states, including New York,” said Congresswoman Claudia Tenney. “Seniors and other vulnerable populations need a voice at the Justice Department that will fight for them. Instead, President Joe Biden’s DOJ has turned its back on the most vulnerable among us. Seniors and those with intellectual disabilities living in group homes deserve justice and their families deserve answers. I first called for an investigation into this scandal in April 2020, and I will not stop fighting for those impacted by Cuomo’s negligent policies. I thank Elise Stefanik and my other New York colleagues for standing united in this fight.”

In part, the letter reads:

The people of New York and the thousands of families of nursing home residents who tragically lost their lives due to these unconscionable actions are rightly demanding answers. They deserve full transparency from the Department following the decision to not open a CRIPA investigation, which was provided without any justification in a July 23, 2021 letter to our offices.”

Read the full letter here.