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How Trump is Responsible for the Worsening Coronavirus Crisis, Hurting Seniors

With over 52,000 Floridians having tested positive for COVID-19 and more than 2 million workers out of a job since the crisis hit Florida, Donald Trump continues to fail Floridians in his coronavirus response. Despite Trump’s desire to act like everything is under control, COVID-19 continues to spread in Florida and across the country because of his inability to manage the crisis. As he heads to Florida today, here’s what you should know:

Trump has consistently downplayed and ignored scientific evidence throughout the coronavirus crisis 

NPR: FACT CHECK: Trump Compares Coronavirus To The Flu, But It Could Be 10 Times Deadlier

NBC News: Trump suggests ‘injection’ of disinfectant to beat coronavirus and ‘clean’ the lungs

CNN: Trump downplays need for testing in another whiplash contradiction

The Washington Post: Drug promoted by Trump as coronavirus ‘game changer’ increasingly linked to deaths 

Trump’s failure to adequately prepare for and respond to the pandemic worsened the crisis in the United States

Axios: 10 times Trump and his administration were warned about coronavirus
Why it matters: Reporting from Axios, the New York Times, Washington Post, AP and other media outlets has revealed that Trump and his administration were repeatedly warned about the threat that the virus could pose to American lives and the economy. Earlier action could have curbed the spread.

New York Times: The Lost Month: How a Failure to Test Blinded the U.S. to Covid-19
And Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, a top government scientist involved in the fight against the virus, told members of Congress that the early inability to test was “a failing” of the administration’s response to a deadly, global pandemic.

New York Times: Lockdown Delays Cost at Least 36,000 Lives, Data Show
If the United States had begun imposing social distancing measures one week earlier than it did in March, about 36,000 fewer people would have died in the coronavirus outbreak, according to new estimates from Columbia University disease modelers.

Trump hasn’t learned from past mistakes

Miami Herald: COVID-19 tracker: Known Florida coronavirus cases and deaths by day and county
Testing in Florida has seen steady growth. Experts suggest it’s still not enough. A recent study in Miami-Dade County found that current limited testing capacity indicates the actual infection rate is likely ten times higher.

New York Times: ‘This Is Not the Hunger Games’: National Testing Strategy Draws Concerns
Mr. Becker and others said it’s reasonable to expect states to implement some aspects of the testing, such as designating test sites. But acquiring tests involves reliance on national and international supply chains — which are challenging for many states to navigate.

The Guardian: ‘I’m not going to do it’: Trump rejects his own administration’s advice on masks
Donald Trump has said his administration is encouraging Americans to wear face masks in public to prevent spreading the coronavirus – but does not intend to wear one himself, despite his own wife’s advice.

Trump’s coronavirus response is particularly devastating to seniors

Palm Beach Post: Coronavirus investigation: DeSantis’ ‘whack-a-mole’ approach fails the frail in nursing homes
COVID-19 fatalities linked to elder care centers comprise nearly half of the deaths in Florida and the percentage rises every day. Yet nursing homes and ALF residents and staff comprise only 2 percent of the state’s population.

Miami Herald: As state touts supply, many nursing home workers still can’t get protective gear
“PPE continues to be very vital to the fight for the coronavirus, however it’s still very difficult to procure. While the state has been excellent in getting some of it, the need is constant,’’ said Veronica Catoe, chief executive officer of the Florida Assisted Living Association, the industry trade association. “Costs are very high, and if you are a small provider they don’t get the bulk discounts.”

USA Today: ‘It makes no sense’: Feds consider relaxing infection control in US nursing homes
The changes were first proposed in July 2019, part of an ongoing effort by the Trump administration to reduce regulations for nursing home providers and suppliers. In addition to modifying the infection preventionist requirement, the proposed rule would also reduce the need for a facility-wide assessment from once a year to every other year and allow certain facilities to disregard a requirement that caps residents at two per room.

NBC News: Trump wants nursing homes to test all staff and residents. That may not be possible.
“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.”

NBC News: Government watchdog: Hospitals face severe shortages of medical gear, confusing guidance from government
Hospitals across the country face dire shortages of vital medical equipment amid the coronavirus outbreak — including testing kits and thermometers — and fear they can’t ensure the safety of health care workers needed to treat patients with COVID-19, according to an internal government watchdog report released Monday.

Read Florida Democratic Party Chair Terrie Rizzo’s statement on Trump’s Florida visit here.

 

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