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Feds seek data about COVID-19 nursing home deaths from 4 states

The Department of Justice is trying to determine whether state orders requiring admission of coronavirus patients to nursing homes could have led to deaths.

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.

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.”

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Credit: AP
FILE- In this April 17, 2020, file photo, a patient is wheeled into Cobble Hill Health Center by emergency medical workers in the Brooklyn borough of New York. A grim blame game with partisan overtones is breaking out over COVID-19 deaths among nursing home residents, a tiny slice of the population that represents a shockingly high proportion of Americans who have perished in the pandemic. (AP Photo/John Minchillo, File)