80,000 Older Americans Dead, 40% Of All COVID-19 Deaths In Nursing Homes: It’s Well Past Time For The Coronavirus Task Force, The Administration & The Hill To Prioritize Nursing Homes & Older Americans

PRESS RELEASE | June 26, 2020 | by Amanda Marr

It's outrageous nursing homes & older Americans have not been a task force priority.

Contact: Amanda Marr

amarr@leadingage.org 202-577-5743

June 25, 2020, Washington, DC -- Statement from Katie Smith Sloan, president and CEO, LeadingAge, the association of nonprofit providers of aging services, including nursing homes, after the Vice President reconvenes the Coronavirus Task Force today for the first time in nearly two months.

“The Vice President’s effort to paint a false portrait of the pandemic at today’s briefing does not erase the inadequate and patchwork federal response to this ongoing national tragedy. 

As the Vice President declares victory over the coronavirus pandemic, the numbers of infections have soared and people are dying. 80,000 people over 65 are dead from the virus, and the CDC says actual cases are likely more than 10 times greater than reported. Still, older Americans have been ignored. 

Again today, we heard nothing about the needs of older adults—other than an out-of-touch suggestion that older people ask their grandchildren to shop for them. We heard nothing about a real federal focus on the needs of residents of nursing homes and their care workers. 

40% of all COVID fatalities have been nursing homes residents or care workers. If 40% of the Coronavirus Task Force work isn’t about nursing homes, they’re doing something wrong.

It’s time for federal leaders to get honest and get focused. Nursing homes need resources that they still don’t have to save lives—especially ample PPE, and accessible and rapid-results testing. We hope that the task force gets it right this time around. 

Older lives are not expendable.”

About LeadingAge:

We represent more than 5,000 aging-focused organizations that touch millions of lives every day. Alongside our members and 38 state partners, we address critical issues by blending applied research, advocacy, education, and community-building. We bring together the most inventive minds in our field to support older adults as they age wherever they call home. We make America a better place to grow old. For more information: www.leadingage.org