The Biden Administration’s Department of Justice (DOJ) announced on Thursday that it will not investigate the widespread mishandling of nursing homes in Pennsylvania at the height of the pandemic, according to The Hill.
The DOJ sent a letter to the office of Governor Tom Wolf (D-Penn.) informing him of their decision. Wolf had been accused of violating the law and gross negligence in his mandate that nursing homes be forced to accept patients who had tested positive for the coronavirus, despite the clear and dangerous threat this presented to otherwise healthy residents.
Governor Wolf was not the only Pennsylvania official who faced criticism for the nursing home scandal. Richard Levine, who then served as Secretary of Pennsylvania’s Department of Health, had faced similar criticism for the fact that, after Governor Wolf’s order was first implemented, he went out of his way to have his own elderly mother moved out of such a nursing home and into a private facility in order to be shielded from the likely spread of the virus. Levine, a biological man who thinks he is a woman, now serves as the Assistant Secretary for Health in the Biden Administration.
The DOJ under the Trump Administration had originally planned to investigate such nursing home scandals in the states of Michigan, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania, to determine if any of these states’ policies had “resulted in the deaths of thousands of elderly nursing home residents.” The recent announcement seems to suggest that the DOJ, now under Biden’s control, will not pursue charges against any of the other states.
The most infamous example of such a nursing home-related debacle came from New York, where Governor Andrew Cuomo (D-N.Y.) first made such an order in March of 2020; after widespread backlash, he rescinded the order in May, but not before the decision had cost the lives of thousands of elderly citizens. It was eventually revealed that his office had actively tried to cover up the true death total of nursing homes in order to protect his image ahead of his re-election campaign in 2022. Following this revelation, investigations were announced against Cuomo’s administration by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and U.S. Attorney Seth DuCharme of the Eastern District of New York.
Cuomo is also facing separate investigations by New York Attorney General Letitia James (D-N.Y.), as well as an impeachment investigation by the New York State Assembly, for numerous accusations of sexual assault that have been made against him in recent months. Nevertheless, Cuomo is still actively running for re-election to a fourth consecutive term in 2022.