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Ground Zero

Published on May 10th, 2020

About one-third of U.S. residents who have died of the novel coronavirus resided in a long-term care facility. The nation’s nursing homes — housing many of the most vulnerable Americans — are ground zero in the devastation wrought by the novel coronavirus.  We are getting dozens of calls from caregivers at several facilities saying they weren’t provided with masks and gowns until after their residents had tested positive.

Media reports have suggested more than 30,000 of the 81,000 confirmed coronavirus deaths in the United States were from nursing homes. That’s probably an underestimate because of incomplete reporting and testing shortages. The numbers are murky in part because the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention hasn’t released details on how many deaths were among nursing home residents.

Two Senate Democrats — Ron Wyden of Oregon and Bob Casey of Pennsylvania — called yesterday on the Trump administration to rectify the situation and commit to a timeline to release the information.

“There have been no signs that the Trump administration has an effective plan to address the tragedy that is taking place in America’s nursing homes,” they said in a joint statement.

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