As President Visits Pennsylvania Amid New COVID Death Milestone, Aging Services Leaders Cite Mounting Dangers to Older Adults

PRESS RELEASE | August 20, 2020

Pennsylvania Aging Care Providers Call for Federal Leadership at their Virtual Annual Meeting

Lisa Sanders, LeadingAge
lsanders@leadingage.org 202-508-9407

Christina Carden, Senior Director of Communications - LeadingAge PA
ccarden@leadingagepa.org 717-790-3947

Washington, D.C. August 20, 2020 – As the president returns to Pennsylvania Thursday, four months after a coronavirus photo-op, the state’s death toll reached a grim milestone--especially for vulnerable older adults.

As of today, more than 7,500 Pennsylvanians have died of the coronavirus--and more than 5,000 of them in long-term care locations like nursing homes.

“Four months ago, the president visited Pennsylvania for a photo-op at a mask distribution center,” said Katie Smith Sloan, president and CEO of LeadingAge. “He refused to wear a mask and was calling testing “overrated” and pushing for hasty reopenings--all of which helped fuel a resurgence of the coronavirus that has cost older lives in Pennsylvania and around the country.”  

“Meanwhile, care providers across the country have been struggling to get the supplies and testing they need to care for older adults--and are growing more fearful about mounting coronavirus costs that many describe as unsustainable,” she added.  

The federal Food & Drug Administration recently acknowledged that ventilators, respirators, masks, surgical gowns, gloves, and sterile swabs are in short supply around the country.

“The pandemic is still a grave threat to vulnerable older adults in Pennsylvania,” said Adam Marles, president and CEO of LeadingAge PA. “We need federal leadership to provide the supplies, testing and resources critical to our members’ ability to care for the staff and residents in their communities.”  LeadingAge PA’s members are gathering virtually this week for their annual conference.

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.

About LeadingAge PA:

We represent over 365 nonprofit providers of senior housing, health care and community services across the Commonwealth, serving more than 75,000 older Pennsylvanians and employing over 50,000 dedicated caregivers on a daily basis.  For more information:  www.leadingagepa.org.