The Justice Department on Wednesday asked governors of states that issued orders which may have resulted in the deaths of nursing home residents, including New York and New Jersey, for COVID-19 data.
The orders in those states required nursing homes to admit coronavirus patients, according to the DOJ. Governors in Pennsylvania and Michigan were also asked for coronavirus data.
“Protecting the rights of some of society’s most vulnerable members, including elderly nursing home residents, is one of our country’s most important obligations,” said Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights Division Eric Dreiband. “We must ensure they are adequately cared for with dignity and respect and not unnecessarily put at risk.”
The DOJ’s Civil Rights Division is evaluating whether the states’ orders on nursing homes caused additional deaths. They may initiate investigations under the federal “Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act.”