The Department of Justice sent sternly-worded letters to the Democratic governors of New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Michigan on Wednesday seeking details about COVID-19-related nursing home deaths in the states. The DOJ Civil Rights Division said it was eying whether rules in, for example, New York, requiring patients be sent to nursing homes from hospitals earlier in the pandemic, despite the risk of spreading COVID-19, may have resulted in unnecessary death.
While New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo in particular has come under fire for the numberv of coronavirus-related deaths in his state, and its nursing homes specifically, the DOJ’s announcement curiously painted a flattering portrait of two hot zones. Texas and Florida, the feds suggested, had their acts together because of lower overall death rates. The reality, of course, is that the two red states are currently in the throes of COVID-19 death spirals, while New York is enjoying a period of remarkable—almost eerie—pandemic calm.