LeadingAge CEO Statement in Response to President Trump's Tweet "Don't Be Afraid of COVID. Don't Let it Dominate Your Life."

PRESS RELEASE | October 05, 2020 | by Lisa Sanders

“Mr. President, for millions of older adults and the people who care for them, not being afraid of COVID is not an option.”

Contact: Lisa Sanders
lsanders@leadingage.org 202-508-9407

October 5, 2020, Washington, DC -- Statement from Katie Smith Sloan, president and CEO, LeadingAge, the association of nonprofit providers of aging services, including nursing homes.

"This afternoon the president tweeted: ‘I will be leaving the great Walter Reed Medical Center today at 6:30 P.M. Feeling really good! Don’t be afraid of Covid. Don’t let it dominate your life. We have developed, under the Trump Administration, some really great drugs & knowledge. I feel better than I did 20 years ago!’

Mr. President, for millions of older adults and the people who care for them, not being afraid of COVID is not an option. More than 153,000 older adults have died of the coronavirus, and their shattered families are still grieving.

Nursing homes and aging service providers have operated for the last seven months in a constant state of fear of not having the resources and support to protect older people from a virus that kills them disproportionately.

The president’s comments that he has no fear of COVID are revealing. It's insulting to the thousands of health care workers who have put their lives at risk every day, particularly in light of the Administration’s weak response to COVID-19:

  • No national testing strategy.
  • No supply chain that prioritizes care providers so they can test and care for their residents.
  • Insufficient funding for the extra staff hours needed to care for residents, to pay for testing, personal protective equipment (PPE), and enhanced infection control -- and to also keep care providers from closing down.
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