Washington, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Stefanik joined Reps. Claudia Tenney (NY-22), Lee Zeldin (NY-01), Nicole Malliotakis (NY-11), and Chris Jacobs (NY-27) in sending a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland and the Department of Justice requesting a comprehensive investigation to assess whether Governor Cuomo’s COVID-19 group home directive violates the civil rights of individuals living in group homes in New York State.

In April 2020, the New York State Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) issued a directive that effectively returned COVID-positive patients who were no longer symptomatic to group homes. The OPWDD has publicly reported 552 COVID-related deaths in group homes, and this letter requests an investigation into this statistic and into the initial directive.

“Given the Governor’s reckless and reprehensible nursing home directive, and the cover up that ensued, we have reason to fear that the number of COVID-related deaths in group homes is higher than what the state has reported. New Yorkers who are living with intellectual or developmental disabilities in group homes may be at an increased risk of dying from COVID-19, and they deserve protection and clarity. The DOJ must assess whether this harmful directive violates the civil rights of some of our most vulnerable and if the reported number of deaths in group homes is accurate,” said Congresswoman Stefanik.

Read the full letter [[{"fid":"1581","view_mode":"default","fields":{"format":"default"},"link_text":"here","type":"media","field_deltas":{"1":{"format":"default"}},"attributes":{"class":"media-element file-default","data-delta":"1"}}]].