Statement Urging Congress to Act on Dual COVID Legislation: Emergency Coronavirus Relief Act of 2020, and the Bipartisan State and Local Support and Small Business Protections Act

PRESS RELEASE | December 15, 2020 | by Lisa Sanders

“Our leaders must not let the vaccine be an excuse for inaction.”

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

December 15, 2020 Washington, DC—Today LeadingAge, the association of nonprofit providers of aging services, including nursing homes, sent a letter to Congress urging them to include the Emergency Coronavirus Relief Act of 2020 and the Bipartisan State and Local Support and Small Business Protections Act in any COVID-19 legislation package.

Delivered to congressional leadership even as the first vaccine doses are shipping, the letter reminds legislators that the crisis is not over. In fact, it is at its worst yet in terms of infections, serious illness, and deaths—and older adults continue to be disproportionately harmed. As our Situation Report on COVID and Aging Services shows, more than 209,000 people over 65 have died as of Dec. 9.

As aging services providers work to keep the most vulnerable among us safe, they are struggling with four primary needs: testing, PPE, staffing support and the money to pay for all of it. COVID-related costs continue to surge and they are unsustainable. Some providers are shutting down, and more will follow—unless Congress steps up and provides robust support.

“Both bipartisan bills address critical funding needs and contain improvements that we support,” said Katie Smith Sloan, president and CEO, LeadingAge. “The dual packages under consideration don’t accomplish everything, but they will go a long way toward saving lives.”

Aging services providers across the continuum of care need help right now and into the future. Our leaders must not let the vaccine be an excuse for inaction. Even after vaccines have been administered, the threat from coronavirus remains.

As the letter states, “We urge Congress to include both bills in any legislative package under consideration. Time is short and the need is great.”

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.