As VP Travels to Pennsylvania and Virus Surges Across Nation, Local & National Association Leaders Urge Federal Leaders Not to Repeat Deadly COVID-19 Mistakes

PRESS RELEASE | July 09, 2020 | by Lisa Sanders

Vice President Will Attend Fundraiser, But no Time Devoted to COVID Pandemic and Its Threat to Older Americans

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

July 9, 2020 Washington, DC — Vice President Mike Pence travels to Pennsylvania today for a series of public events--including a campaign fundraiser--but is devoting no time to the resurgence of the coronavirus that threatens Pennsylvanians, and that has cost the lives of more than 80,000 Americans over the age of 65.

The national association of nonprofit providers of aging services and its Pennsylvania state partner call on Pence--who was appointed to chair the federal Coronavirus Task Force--to refocus his efforts on federal leadership to deal with a pandemic that is threatening many Pennsylvania long-term care communities and millions of older Americans around the country.

“This is one of the worst health crises in American history, and it demands the full time and attention of our leaders. Denying the threat and attending fundraisers won’t fix a patchwork response that is costing older lives. It’s long past time for a coordinated strategy to get real relief where it is needed most,” said Katie Smith Sloan, president and CEO of LeadingAge.

This trip comes in the wake of President Trump’s false claims that 99% of COVID-19 cases are “harmless,” and Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar’s statement that healthcare workers "don't get infected" with Covid-19. Leaders from the associations urge the government not to diminish and ignore the desperate needs of aging services providers for resources and support. 

“COVID-19 is not harmless, and it’s not over—especially for older Americans and their care workers, who are bearing the brunt of the virus. Instead of denials and downplaying, we need federal leadership from the Administration and real relief from Congress.

What our leaders do next will literally mean life or death for the most vulnerable among us. Don’t repeat the mistakes that are costing lives,” said Sloan.

Adds Adam Marles, CEO, LeadingAgePA: “In Pennsylvania, as in many other states, the threat of this pandemic has not diminished for older adults and the dedicated caregivers in senior services. Testing and personal protective equipment are critical for the quality care of residents that will lead to the safe reopening of communities. Government must step up for older adults.”

AVAILABLE for interview -- contact Lisa Sanders lsanders@leadingage.org -- to arrange: 

LeadingAge President and CEO Katie Smith Sloan

LeadingAgePA CEO Adam Marles

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.