Statement From LeadingAge in Response to President's Trump's Resumption of Daily Coronavirus Briefings

PRESS RELEASE | July 21, 2020 | by Susan Donley

“The need for wartime leadership is growing by the hour.”

Contact: Susan Donley
sdonley@leadingage.org, 202-508-1209

July 21, 2020, Washington, DC -- Statement from Katie Smith Sloan, president and CEO, LeadingAge, the association of nonprofit providers of aging services, including nursing homes, as President Trump plans to restart daily coronavirus briefings today.

“Since the first case of COVID-19 was confirmed in the United States six months ago, federal leaders have too often denied, diminished and dismissed the escalating tragedy of the pandemic.

As the virus continues to spike and surge across the country, the need for wartime leadership is growing by the hour. It’s time for a coordinated national plan of attack.

  • Older adults and their care providers must be placed at the front of the line alongside hospitals for resources and support.
  • As we wrote in a letter to Vice President Pence yesterday, the Administration must exercise the powers of the Defense Production Act to ensure the reliable availability of the high-quality, affordable PPE and COVID-19 testing that is so essential to protecting health and safety during this ongoing health crisis.

From the start, the Administration did not listen to experts, did not develop a coherent national response, and did not prioritize the health and lives of older adults, including those in nursing homes, which are ground zero for the spread of the virus.

We hope the President’s appearance today indicates a step back from the disturbing signs that the Administration is walking away from any substantive leadership role in confronting the pandemic, including an astonishing position against funding for COVID-19 testing, one of the most critical tools in the fight.

It is long past time for meaningful leadership and a coordinated strategy from the White House. We hope the President will announce today that he finally has a plan to marshal the incredible resources of this country and deliver them where they are most needed.

The lives of millions of older adults are at stake. They must get 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