New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Sunday said "nobody" should be prosecuted for deaths caused by the coronavirus.
Cuomo was responding to a reporter's question about families who had suffered losses inside nursing homes and who would be held accountable for the deaths.
"We lost 139 people yesterday in hospitals. Who is accountable for those 139 deaths? How do we get justice for those families who had 139 deaths? What is justice? Who can we prosecute for those 139 deaths? Nobody," Cuomo said during a press conference.
"Mother Nature, God, where did this virus come from? People are going to die by this virus, that is the truth."
More than 5,300 New Yorkers living in nursing homes have died from the virus.
Cuomo last week rolled out new regulations to protect nursing home residents amid the pandemic, saying patients must test negative for COVID-19 before being readmitted to the facilities.
The announcement is a reversal from a March directive by the state's health department requiring nursing homes to accept recovering patients.
More than 355,000 people have been infected with the virus in New York, and 28,000-plus have died.
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