| The first U.S. hotbed of COVID-19 was in a Seattle nursing home.
Since then, long-term care facilities and nursing homes have accounted for roughly half of all COVID-19 deaths in the United States. And while Congress has passed trillions of dollars in bailouts for corporations, residents and staffs of nursing homes still don’t have adequate testing or protective equipment to stop the spread among this vulnerable population.
One medical director at a nursing home in Virginia told The Atlantic, “We’re literally killing elders now, through our lack of funding.”
Click here to sign a petition that RootsAction and allies will deliver to Congress (through a virtual hearing).
The lack of federal support and funding of nursing and long-term care facilities has overwhelmed staff and resulted in many nursing homes literally creating “death rooms” where infected residents spend their final days.
People who require long-term care are at greatest risk from COVID-19. It’s critical that these facilities immediately receive the support they need.
Tell Congress and the White House to pass legislation to protect seniors in nursing homes today!
The initial CARES Act allocated just $100 million for infection control, including at nursing homes, but included a $500 billion corporate slush fund. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin can dole out five thousand times as much money to corporations as was allocated to nursing homes―and the $100 million has barely been distributed due to the Trump administration’s inept response.
Now, as Congress prepares the CARES 2 Act, the congressional Task Force on Aging and Families is calling for the following actions to ensure nursing home residents and staff receive the federal aid they need to address this crisis:
Approximately 2.3 million Americans live in nursing home facilities. Protecting these seniors and those who care for them must be a top priority of Congress and the White House.
- Establish adequate infection control guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19 within nursing and long-term care facilities.
- Ensure nursing and long-term care facilities have access to the workforce and PPE required to carry out these directives.
- Immediately distribute $100M for infection control to nursing homes and other long-term care facilities.
- Require nursing and long-term care facilities to report all COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and fatalities to residents, families, state health departments, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the general public. This data must be utilized to coordinate a robust response to the pandemic and to ensure transparency and accountability.
- Ensure nursing and long-term care facilities have sufficient testing kits to accurately report COVID-19 case data and to protect residents and staff.
Join us in demanding the federal government immediately prioritize nursing and long-term care facilities in COVID-19 response legislation.
Thank you for all that you do to demand our government protect the health and financial security of older Americans and people with disabilities.
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-- The RootsAction.org Team
P.S. RootsAction is an independent online force endorsed by Jim Hightower, Barbara Ehrenreich, Cornel West, Daniel Ellsberg, Glenn Greenwald, Naomi Klein, Bill Fletcher Jr., Laura Flanders, former U.S. Senator James Abourezk, Frances Fox Piven, Phil Donahue, Sonali Kolhatkar, and many others.
>> The Atlantic: "We're Literally Killing Elders Now"