Covid-19 Facilities News Testimony

The Shameful Toll of Nursing Homes

New York Times Letter to the Editor

Download the New York Times September 6 Response.docx

To the Editor:

Re: “The Shameful Toll of Nursing Homes”, (Editorial, September 6, 2020):

The tragic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic in the nation’s 15,000 nursing homes, including over 68,000 deaths, is well documented in this editorial.  What is not addressed is the inhumane isolation of 1,250,000 nursing home residents separated from family members and the larger community by stringent visiting restrictions.  Common sense modifications based on public health principles must be implemented.  Otherwise, the tragedy of a virulent infection will be compounded by mounting loneliness and depression, which also can have fatal consequences. 

Moreover, what is most shameful is that this was preventable by any reasonable standard.  The pandemic impact continues to be exacerbated by lax regulatory oversight and corporate neglect.  Efforts underway to secure legal immunity to avoid accountability will only compound the heartbreak and must be rejected.

Strong and immediate legislative and regulatory actions at state and national levels are essential.