In Focus: Trump’s Disastrous Coronavirus Response, Volume #10
May 26, 2020
The coronavirus pandemic in the United States continues to worsen because of President Trump.
Volume #10: Trump Risks Lives Of America’s Seniors
Trump will deliver remarks today on how he is protecting America’s seniors, but his failed coronavirus response has devastated nursing homes and led to more deaths among seniors.
Trump left America’s seniors in the dust long before coronavirus. Year after year, Trump proposed budgets that slashed Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security by billions, in addition to eliminating rent assistance programs and community block grant programs that help seniors obtain Meals On Wheels. The keystone of his agenda has been undoing the protections of the Affordable Care Act, a landmark law that has become even more essential in the coronavirus pandemic.
When the public health crisis hit, Trump squandered months he could have spent preparing for the virus by acquiring tests and supplies that slow the spread of the virus and protect the vulnerable in our communities.
It’s no surprise Trump put nursing home safety on the back burner, making the situation worse as tens of thousands of elderly Americans have needlessly died. Over and over, Trump and his allies have downplayed the deaths of seniors as a price that must be paid to reopen our country. It’s obvious why older Americans don’t trust Trump on coronavirus and are reconsidering past support: Trump is needlessly risking their lives.
Nursing homes and other long-term care facilities, which account for one-third of all coronavirus deaths in the country, have been devastated by Trump’s disastrous coronavirus response.
New York Times: “One-Third of All U.S. Coronavirus Deaths Are Nursing Home Residents or Workers”
Politico: “The unfolding tragedy in American nursing homes, where patients are dying in clusters, is another consequence of the coronavirus testing debacle. While America wasn’t looking, family visitors, staff and other health professionals unknowingly brought the virus into long-term care facilities, spreading it among the population least likely to withstand it.”
Trump failed to provide nursing homes with enough testing capacity early on and failed to help states provide universal testing at facilities.
Associated Press: “After two months and more than 10,000 deaths that have made the nation’s nursing homes some of the most terrifying places to be during the coronavirus crisis, most of them still don’t have access to enough tests to help control outbreaks among their frail, elderly residents.”
NBC News: “The Trump administration is calling for nursing homes to test all residents and staff over the next two weeks as it prepares to ‘reopen’ the country, but advocates and industry executives say that in many states, universal testing isn’t feasible and that the federal government isn’t providing the money or means to do it.”
As coronavirus ripped through nursing homes, Trump continued plans to weaken infection control rules at those very facilities.
USA Today: “The federal government is considering rolling back infection control requirements in U.S. nursing homes – even as the long-term-care industry’s residents and workers are overwhelmed by the coronavirus.”
The Trump administration dragged its feet in tracking coronavirus cases at nursing homes and was still unclear on how many facilities have outbreaks.
NBC News: “The government still doesn’t know how many nursing homes have coronavirus outbreaks”
Wall Street Journal: “A recently launched federal effort to collect data on the impact of the coronavirus in nursing homes will leave the full toll unclear, because a new rule doesn’t require facilities to report deaths and infections that occurred before early May.”
Ahead of Trump’s trip to Florida tomorrow, Florida seniors in particular are fed up with Trump’s failed coronavirus response.
Florida senior: “I’ve seen a lot. I was in the Vietnam War. I had my own business. It was just panic, but we had, in a sense, we had leadership in that event. And, in fact, in a lot of events. Presidents have in the past given leadership or comfort. But there is nothing coming from our current president.”
Florida senior: “January and February were totally wasted by Trump. Totally wasted. To Trump, in my opinion, the virus is nothing more than an inconvenience to him and his political ambitions. And he doesn’t really care. I don’t believe he cares about the people. I don’t think he cares about who is affected by the virus. I think it’s really for him an inconvenience.”
Trump is rapidly losing support from seniors because of his failed coronavirus response — even his own campaign polling says so.
Washington Post: “One of the most durable political assets that Republicans have enjoyed throughout the 21st century is their edge among Americans 65 and older, who tend to turn out at the polls more reliably than any other group. But with President Trump’s inept and erratic handling of the novel coronavirus pandemic, he is rapidly losing support among the age group most vulnerable to its ravages — which is a big warning sign to Republicans as they look to the fall. … The shift has been showing up in a string of recent polls, reportedly including those that have been conducted by Trump’s own campaign.”