As Virus Spread, Many Nursing Homes Became Hotbeds

Headline Roundup May 29th, 2020

The COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic has had an especially harsh impact on nursing homes and other long-term care facilities throughout the country. Some data suggests that up to 42% of U.S. coronavirus deaths have been linked to nursing homes, with that number surpassing 50% in some states.

Coverage from throughout the spectrum, but especially on the right, has focused specifically on New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo's purported mismanagement of the virus's effect on N.Y. nursing homes. Some also focused on recent regulation rollbacks for nursing homes that could have enabled the virus to spread.

As Virus Spread, Many Nursing Homes Became Hotbeds

From the Center
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IN MID-MARCH, AS San Francisco mayor London Breed issued a citywide stay-at-home order, Peggy Cmiel started getting prepared. Cmiel is the director of clinical operations at the San Francisco Center for Jewish Living, or SFCJL, a 9-acre senior housing complex in the Excelsior neighborhood that includes long-term care facilities, short-term rehab housing, and a memory care wing. The campus houses over 300 elderly residents, members of one of the populations most vulnerable to the deadly and highly infectious coronavirus that has spread across the globe.

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From the Left
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Days before she tested positive for COVID-19 in early April, Tanya Beckford was already worried about dying because of the conditions in the Connecticut nursing home where she has worked for 23 years. She wasn’t feeling well and says she and her co-workers, facing a shortage of masks, gloves and gowns, had started wearing plastic trash bags over their uniforms for protection as they cared for infected residents.

Beckford, a certified nursing assistant (CNA) in the Alzheimer’s unit at Newington Rapid Recovery Rehab Center in Newington, Connecticut, had been running...

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From the Right
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The heartbreaking statistic relayed in my headline is not, as some have suggested, an attempt to diminish the tragedy of the tens of thousands of Americans who have died as a result of lethal Coronavirus outbreaks at nursing homes and long-term care facilities. Every human life has value and dignity, and losing so many aging Americans to this virulent disease is gut-wrenching. The point is not that older lives lost do not matter. The point is that as we make difficult public policy decisions about public health and reopening the...

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