As the coronavirus pandemic continues to worsen, seniors are bearing the brunt of Donald Trump’s chaotic response. For Maine, the oldest state in the union, Trump’s failure has been especially dangerous.
“It didn’t have to be this bad,” said Maine Democratic Party Chair Kathleen Marra. “Donald Trump spent years undermining health access for hundreds of thousands of Mainers. Even when the coronavirus began to spread, he refused to take desperately needed action, leaving nursing homes and older Mainers to fend for themselves. Trump’s chaos is putting seniors’ lives in danger — we can’t afford four more years of this.”
BACKGROUND ON TRUMP’S CHAOTIC CORONAVIRUS RESPONSE
Nursing homes account for a third of all U.S. coronavirus deaths, yet the Trump administration has failed to deliver the tests and resources they urgently need.
Politico: “The unfolding tragedy in American nursing homes, where patients are dying in clusters, is another consequence of the coronavirus testing debacle. [...] This combination of lack of preparedness, inadequate testing capacity and misunderstanding of how the virus could spread seeded death in scores of nursing homes across the country, where patients are not only dying quickly, but often without family and loved ones at their side.”
Associated Press: “After two months and more than 10,000 deaths that have made the nation’s nursing homes some of the most terrifying places to be during the coronavirus crisis, most of them still don’t have access to enough tests to help control outbreaks among their frail, elderly residents.”
USA Today: “The federal government is considering rolling back infection control requirements in U.S. nursing homes – even as the long-term-care industry’s residents and workers are overwhelmed by the coronavirus.”
Even before the pandemic, Trump spent three years breaking his promises to seniors, undermining their health care and leaving them even more vulnerable to the coming pandemic.
Promise: “We’re going to have insurance for everybody [...] There was a philosophy in some circles that if you can’t pay for it, you don’t get it. That’s not going to happen with us.” [Washington Post Interview, 1/15/17]
Reality: Trump supports Republicans’ lawsuit to overturn the Affordable Care Act, threatening health coverage for 83,000 Mainers alongside millions of Americans across the country.
Promise: “I want to keep preexisting conditions. I think we need it. I think it’s a modern age. And I think we have to have it.” [Republican Presidential Debate, CNN, 2/25/16]
Promise: “We will not be touching your Social Security or Medicare in Fiscal 2021 Budget.” [Tweet, 2/8/2020]
Reality: Trump’s 2021 budget proposes cutting billions of dollars from Social Security programs and hundreds of billions from Medicare. Nearly a quarter million Mainers rely on their hard-earned Medicare benefits.