ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – The former Secretary to the Governor, Steven Cohen, held a conference call on Thursday to outline information surrounding the nursing home investigation from the Department of Justice (DOJ). He said he wanted to clarify a few points made about the investigation.
He claims the entire investigation has been ‘politicized’ pointing to the DOJ asking for nursing home information from four states led by Democratic governors. This happened during the week of the Republican National Convention. The states were Michigan, Pennsylvania, New York and New Jersey.
He also said that, in his opinion, the state did everything right when issuing guidance that people should return to nursing homes while infected with COVID. He said that was in line with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued in March. He said that guidance is still in place and has not been adjusted.
He went on to say that, while a nursing home couldn’t reject a resident solely based on a positive COVID diagnosis they had to make sure that they had precautions in place to take COVID positive patients. This was done in an effort to not overwhelm the hospital system which was strained during the beginning of the pandemic.
Cohen also said that any DOJ inquiry should be taken very seriously, but given the climate in Washington at the time, it was a ‘politicized’ move from President Trump and his supporters.
Cohen claims there was no cover-up, only a delay in producing data so the Administration could be confident that all the information was completely accurate. He said that Melissa DeRosa’s comments were taken out of context and the DOJ inquiry was given top priority and other requests were put on pause. He said that the reports to the DOJ are ‘ongoing and timely and totally truthful’.