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DOJ Requests Data From State Governors Who Issued Deadly COVID-19 Nursing Home Orders

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The U.S. Department of Justice is requesting what many families in many states who lost loved ones in nursing homes to the novel coronavirus have been waiting for: accountability for State governors that mandated nursing homes take recovering COVID-19 patients. The policies resulted in thousands of deaths when warnings about the elderly being the most vulnerable to the virus were clear from the start.

On Wednesday, the Justice Department sent letters to Govs. Andrew Cuomo, D-NY, Phil Murphy, D-NJ, Tom Wolf, D-PA, Gretchen Whitmer, D-MI requesting those answers.

“Protecting the rights of some of society’s most vulnerable members, including elderly nursing home residents, is one of our country’s most important obligations,” said Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights Division Eric Dreiband, in a press release Wednesday. “We must ensure they are adequately cared for with dignity and respect and not unnecessarily put at risk.”

Governors in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Michigan all made those orders. And, in New York, for example, the highest number of COVID-19 deaths were counted, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). The State’s COVID-19 death rate is also the nation’s second-highest.

The letters request that the State officials provide the following in the next 14 days:

  1. The number of Public Nursing Home residents, employees, other staff, guests, and visitors
    who contracted COVID-19, regardless of where such persons contracted COVID-19
  1. The number of Public Nursing Home residents, employees, other staff, guests, and visitors
    who died of COVID-19 including those who died in a Public Nursing Home or after being
    transferred to a hospital or other medical facility, hospice, home care, or any other location.
  2. All State-issued guidance, directives, advisories, or executive orders regarding admission of persons to Public Nursing Homes, including those previously superseded, as well as the dates each such document was in effect.
  3. The number of persons who were admitted to a Public Nursing Home from a hospital or
    any other facility, hospice, home care, or other location after testing positive for COVID19 during the period the guidance or orders were in effect.

The Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division is also considering opening an investigation into the nursing home deaths.

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Trump: Tanks to Ukraine could escalate to use of ‘NUKES’

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Former President Donald Trump stated bluntly on Truth Social,  “FIRST COME THE TANKS, THEN COME THE NUKES. Get this crazy war ended, NOW. So easy to do!”

Trump was referring to the escalation of war in Ukraine. He, like many other commentators and lawmakers, are warning that the decision to continue sending weapons – and now tanks – could potentially lead to the use of “nuclear weapons.”

It’s mission creep and it’s dangerous, they say.

Why? Because Russian President Valdimir Putin has indicated in two different speeches that he would use nuclear weapons to defend Russia, if needed. Those warnings are not just bluster but a very real possibility.

And the escalation of war is visible.

Russia launched 55 missiles strikes across Ukraine Thursday, leaving 11 dead. The strikes come one day after the United States and Germany agreed to send tanks to Ukraine in an effort to aide the country. 47 of the 55 missiles were shot down according to Ukraine’s Air Force command.

Eleven lives were lost and another 11 were injured additionally leaving 35 buildings damaged in the wake of the attacks. According to The New York Times, Denys Shmyhal, said in a post on Telegram. “The main goal is energy facilities, providing Ukrainians with light and heat,” he said.

Ukraine is now demanding that they need F-16 fighter jets. In a post on twitter Ukrainian lawmaker, Oleksiy Goncharenko said, “Missiles again over Ukraine. We need F16.”

The US has abstained from sending advanced jets in the chances that a volatile decision could foster more dangerous attacks like former President Trump’s post on Truth referred to. If the US did authorize the decision to lend Ukraine the F-16 jets Netherlands’ foreign minister, Wopke Hoekstra, would be willing to supply them. According to The New York Times, Hoekstra told Dutch lawmakers, “We are open-minded… There are no taboos.”

F-16 fighter jets are complex to work on, they are not the average aircraft that can be learned in a matter of weeks. It can take months for pilots to learn how to fly these birds. European and US officials have the concern that Ukrainian forces could potentially use the jets to fly into Russian airspace and launch attacks on Russian soil.

Western allies are trying to avoid such a provocation, because that could lead to nuclear warfare in reference to what Putin has said he would do to defend his country.

 

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