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DOJ seeks data about COVID nursing home deaths from 4 states

Bernard Condon
Associated Press

The Justice Department is seeking 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.

In this April 17, 2020, file photo, emergency medical workers arrive at Cobble Hill Health Center in the Brooklyn borough of New York.

Prosecutors are trying to determine whether state orders requiring admission of COVID-19 patients to nursing homes could have led to deaths.

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.”