COVID-19 in Nursing Homes: How the Trump Administration Failed Residents and Workers

Mary Madison, RN, RAC-CT, CDP
Clinical Consultant – Briggs Healthcare

“This report details how the Trump Administration’s deregulatory agenda, repeated failures to adequately prepare for the COVID-19 pandemic, and its delayed and disorganized response exacerbated, and in some instances contributed to, a worsening public health crisis that has disproportionately affected the most vulnerable populations in the United States. The report also provides recommendations to address this crisis and prevent these failings in the future.”

This 98-page report was issued by 3 Senators – Bob Casey (PA), Ron Wyden (OR) and Gary Peters (MI) on July 1, 2020. 

Before you dismiss the report based on your political leanings (these gentlemen are Democrats), bear in mind that COVID-19 doesn’t favor one political party over another.  It is an equal opportunity killer.  It continues to kill here in the U.S. as well as all over the world.  Politics should not have any bearing on our response to eradicating it.

The last sentence in the first paragraph was excerpted from the last sentence in the report’s Executive Summary.  We have to understand what happened and take steps to ensure this doesn’t happen again.  Some additional excerpts from the report also underscore the urgency and the reason why you should read the report:

  • Over 1.3 million Americans call a nursing facility home.
  • To date, of the more than 125,500 Americans who have lost their lives due to COVID-19, more than 54,000 have been residents and workers in nursing homes and other long-term care settings.
  • This represents more than 40 percent of all deaths nationwide.

Please review the many charts in the report as well as the recommendations.  “Those who don’t learn from the past are doomed to repeat it.”  This quote has been attributed to several individuals over history but regardless of who said it first, we would do well to consider what’s happening and has happened to date then take positive steps to ensure it’s not repeated.   We can and must do better.