Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz and a team of GOP senators sent a letter on Friday to Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Dick Durbin demanding a hearing on COVID-19 nursing home deaths in four states led by Democratic governors.
The letter began, “In February, nine members of this Committee sent you a letter asking you ‘to open an investigation and schedule hearings’ into whether state governors, and especially Governor [Andrew] Cuomo of New York, violated the civil rights of seniors by sending individuals with COVID-19 to nursing home facilities. We have yet to receive a response from you.”
“There is ample basis to investigate the nursing home response in New York, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and New Jersey, particularly in light of the billions of dollars that Congress appropriated for the COVID-19 response,” the letter added.
“These four states pressured nursing homes to accept patients with active COVID-19 infections who were being discharged from hospitals at the height of the pandemic.”
The Republican group’s February letter argued, “That is why we ask you to open an investigation and schedule hearings on this critical issue. The American people deserve to know the extent to which Governor Cuomo and his senior staff violated the civil rights of New York seniors, lied to the Department of Justice about their actions, and violated federal civil and criminal laws in the process.
NEW from the @nypost: Sen. Ted Cruz and eight other Republican lawmakers on the powerful Senate Judiciary Committee have urged Chairman Dick Durbin to open an investigation into Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s growing nursing home death scandal.https://t.co/Ps4SW5Y7X4
— Senator Ted Cruz (@SenTedCruz) February 18, 2021
“That so many people needlessly lost their lives because of the failed policies of Governor Cuomo’s administration — an administration that many have lauded over the past year — is tragic and deserves a full investigation and accounting,” the February letter continued.
In July, the Department of Justice also made President Joe Biden complicit in the COVID-19 deaths of elderly New Yorkers in nursing homes, according to a top Republican legislator.
Biden’s Department of Justice said it is not going to worry about any civil rights violations that might have taken place as thousands of New Yorkers died from COVID-19, the New York Post reported at the time.
“This decision from President Biden’s Department of Justice makes President Biden complicit in the criminal corruption scandal and coverup of deaths of thousands of vulnerable seniors,” New York Republican Rep. Elise Stefanik said in a statement.
“New Yorkers deserve answers and accountability. I was the first member of Congress to call for an investigation into Governor Cuomo’s corrupt criminal coverup and I will continue to fight for the families who lost loved ones because of the cruelty and corruption of our Governor,” she added.
Read my full statement below ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/aQbpxyoBG2
— Rep. Elise Stefanik (@RepStefanik) July 23, 2021
The Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice had sought information from New York concerning a March 2020 order from Cuomo that forced nursing homes to accept patients with the coronavirus. The DOJ said it wanted the records from the state, along with those from Pennsylvania, Michigan and New Jersey, because the orders “may have resulted in the deaths of thousands of elderly nursing home residents,” the New York Post reported.
In May, Cuomo claimed, “I did nothing wrong,” despite numerous allegations surrounding the scandal about the reporting of COVID-19 deaths in his state’s elder care facilities.
During a news conference, a reporter asked the governor “whether or not you would support an AG investigation specifically into the alleged nursing home cover up as families in Foley Square today are protesting?”
“I’ve already told New Yorkers where I am,” Cuomo replied.
“I did nothing wrong and period, and I’m not resigning and I’m doing my job every day,” he added. Cuomo resigned on Tuesday following a report regarding his sexual harassment of nearly a dozen women.
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