Trump administration must report COVID-19 nursing home deaths: Rep. Schakowsky

Trump administration must report COVID-19 nursing home deaths: Rep. Schakowsky

Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., led a call for Medicare & Medicaid Administrator Seema Verma — pictured here — to map data on COVID-19 nursing home deaths. | Getty Images

“If HHS fails to collect these data, we fear that the fatalities of congregate living facilities will linger in hindsight as a national and avoidable tragedy.”

As concerns grow over COVID-19 deaths in nursing homes, Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., led a group of 78 House Democrats in asking the Trump administration to “immediately collect and publicly report facility-level data” on cases and deaths.

Nursing home residents — most often senior citizens with underlying medical conditions are, according to the Center for Disease Control, at the “highest risk” of coronavirus infections.

Families are becoming frantic about loved ones, who cannot receive visitors because nursing homes are on lockdowns to avoid infections. Journalists have been reporting about deaths in nursing homes across the nation.

There is no federal mandate for the collection of COVID-19 related nursing home data.

The letter, sent Wednesday to Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar and Medicare & Medicaid Administrator Seema Verma asks them to “closely monitor and address the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 in our nation’s nursing homes and other congregate living facilities.

“Protecting the most vulnerable among us must be an essential priority. If HHS fails to collect these data, we fear that the fatalities of congregate living facilities will linger in hindsight as a national and avoidable tragedy.”

Other Illinois House members who signed the letter include Bobby Rush; Bill Foster and Danny Davis.

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