Statement From LeadingAge on Congressional Relief Negotiations

PRESS RELEASE | December 03, 2020 | by Lisa Sanders

“This is COVID’s darkest hour -- and a final test for the conscience of Congress.”

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

December 3, 2020, Washington, DC—Statement from Katie Smith Sloan, president and CEO, LeadingAge, the association of nonprofit providers of aging services, including nursing homes, as Congress debates a long-stalled package of COVID-19 relief legislation:

“This week the federal Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices showed what it means to prioritize the lives of older Americans, who’ve suffered 80% of all COVID deaths. They recognized that those who have been disproportionately harmed need to be first in line for life-saving vaccines, along with the people who care for them.

Now it’s Congress’s turn to lead.

As the death toll among people over 65 nears 200,000, it’s time for our elected representatives to put partisanship aside and provide real relief for older Americans who’ve been ignored too often during the worst pandemic in a century.

This is COVID’s darkest hour--and a final test for the conscience of Congress.

As aging services providers work to keep the most vulnerable among us safe, they are struggling to access and pay for the personal protective equipment, testing, supplies, and staffing they need to fight this healthcare battle. COVID-related costs are staggering, they are mounting, and they are unsustainable. Some providers are shutting down, and more will follow—unless Congress steps up and provides robust support.

To highlight the dire situation across the country, LeadingAge is hosting a congressional staff briefing today to make the case for relief. It’s alarming that draft legislation being circulated suggests that lawmakers are not truly prioritizing older adults.

"What does it say if Congress continues to leave these Americans behind?”

LeadingAge Situation Report: The Coronavirus Threat to Older Adults

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