President-elect Joe Biden has added New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s name to his short list of candidates to serve as attorney general, according to reports.
Biden is considering three other potential nominees to lead the Department of Justice: Alabama Sen. Doug Jones, former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates and federal appeals court judge Merrick Garland.
The Associated Press and New York Times reported Friday that a person with knowledge of Biden’s cabinet selection process says he has recently put Cuomo under consideration for the DOJ post.
Cuomo would likely face an uphill battle in the Senate confirmation process over policies he enacted during the early months of the coronavirus pandemic that critics say caused thousands of nursing home deaths.
Cuomo enacted a policy on March 25 that required hospitals to send long-term care residents back to their facilities even if they had coronavirus. Cuomo implemented the order to clear up hospital beds to grapple with what was expected to be a surge of coronavirus cases in the Empire State.
More than 6,000 nursing home patients died in New York after Cuomo enacted the policy, and before he rescinded it in May due to intense public pressure.
Cuomo has vehemently denied that his policy caused nursing home deaths. He has cited a report that the New York Department of Health released in July which said that nursing home staffers infected with coronavirus were the primary cause of the virus outbreak in New York’s nursing homes.
The New York Times reported that Cuomo is still considered a long-shot for a Biden nomination.
The Trump Justice Department’s civil rights division has for several months been conducting a preliminary investigation into whether nursing home policies in four states, including New York, caused a spike in coronavirus cases in long-term care facilities. The Justice Department requested data from the states in August. The status of the investigation is unclear.
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