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The Manhattan district attorney’s investigation into former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s handling of nursing home COVID-19 deaths has reportedly ended without any charges expected against Cuomo.
That’s according to the Democrat’s attorney, Elkan Abramowitz, who said Monday that Cuomo is in the clear after nearly 15,000 coronavirus-related deaths among long-term care facility residents in the state in 2020.
“I was contacted today by the head of the Elder Care Unit from the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office who informed me they have closed its investigation involving the Executive Chamber and nursing homes,” Abramowitz said, according to Fox News. “I was told that after a thorough investigation — as we have said all along — there was no evidence to suggest that any laws were broken.”
A report last year from New York Attorney General Letitia James revealed that the state’s Department of Health underreported COVID-19 deaths in nursing homes by as much as 50 percent and now former Manhattan district attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. launched the probe — his term ended New Year’s Eve, and it was under Vance that the investigation was quashed last Thursday, the New York Post reported, citing a source.
“As the pandemic and our investigations continue, it is imperative that we understand why the residents of nursing homes in New York unnecessarily suffered at such an alarming rate,” James said in a statement at the time. “While we cannot bring back the individuals we lost to this crisis, this report seeks to offer transparency that the public deserves and to spur increased action to protect our most vulnerable residents.”
Cuomo issued a blanket order on March 25, 2020 requiring nursing homes to admit new or returning residents regardless of their COVID-19 status, due to “an urgent need to expand hospital capacity.” Facilities were also prohibited from testing patients before admission. The order would be reversed in May of that year — the state health department released a report last summer that claimed the policy was “not a significant factor” in deaths.
The disgraced former governor who resigned late last year amid a series of sexual harassment allegations, scored a $5.1 million book deal in 2020, resulting in a book titled, “American Crisis: Leadership Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic.”
Family members who lost loved ones to COVID-19 while in long-term care facilities in New York were infuriated over the investigation being shut down without charges.
“Letting Cuomo off the hook is a bad way to start 2022,” Vivian Zayas told the Post.
Zayas is co-founder of Voices For Seniors, and her mother died of COVID while in a nursing rehab facility.
“Fifteen thousand people lost their lives in nursing homes. It doesn’t look like prosecutors are taking this seriously. They’re basically protecting Cuomo,” she said. “We are disappointed in our judicial system.”
Federal prosecutors are still examining the Cuomo administration’s actions relating to the nursing homes and other long-term care facilities, according to the Post, and the FBI is interviewing state officials about the book deal.
Meanwhile, it was reported on Monday that Attorney General James has subpoenaed Ivanka and Donald Trump Jr., in her ongoing effort to nail former President Donald Trump and his family for alleged financial fraud. The subpoena seeks “testimony and documents ‘in connection with an investigation into the valuation of properties owned or controlled by Donald J. Trump or the Trump Organization, or any matter which the Attorney General deems pertinent.’”
Ivanka and Don Jr. are refusing to comply with the subpoenas — Trump, his family, and his organization have denied any wrongdoing and argue the investigation is purely political in nature.
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