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The Justice Department will not open a civil rights investigation into New York, Pennsylvania and Michigan’s handling of COVID-19 at nursing homes.
In a letter released late on Friday by the office of Republican congressman Steve Scalise, the DOJ said it had reviewed information provided by the states and, based on that data, it was not opening an investigation.
The decision is a blow to several Republican lawmakers who had demanded a probe.
Scalise on Friday Tweeted “Absolutely shameful…” adding that Justice Department officials were "complicit in these Democrat governors' cover ups."
At issue was whether the three democratic-led states inadvertently added to the coronavirus death toll in the early stages of the pandemic by allowing nursing homes to take in residents who had been hospitalized for COVID-19.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo - who became a national figure in the fight against the virus - came under fire in particular. He battled allegations, including from the state's attorney general, that his office had significantly undercounted nursing home deaths and implemented policies that may have boosted the death toll.
Cuomo's office did not immediately return a message seeking comment on Saturday.