COLUMBUS — The Ohio Democratic Party hosted a virtual roundtable discussion yesterday with state Rep. Stephanie Howse, Ohio Alliance for Retired Americans President Norm Wernet and Council on Aging of Southwestern Ohio Board of Trustees Member Cathy Crain to discuss the devastating impact of the coronavirus crisis on Ohio seniors.
After nearly 30,000 Americans had died of COVID-19 in nursing homes, the Trump administration finally recommended mass testing of long-term care residents and workers earlier this month — but failed to provide any funding to do it.
Despite the massive coronavirus outbreak, the Trump administration is still pushing to remove infection control regulations on the nursing home industry.
The coronavirus has ravaged Ohio’s nursing homes, with 70 percent of the state’s COVID-19 deaths coming from long-term care facilities.
We hosted a virtual roundtable discussion yesterday w/ Rep. @stephaniehowse, Ohio @ActiveRetirees President Norm Wernet and Council on Aging of Southwestern Ohio Board of Trustees Member Cathy Crain to discuss the devastating impact of the coronavirus crisis on Ohio seniors. pic.twitter.com/IFwo9ljtky
— Ohio Dems (@OHDems) May 28, 2020
From Ohio Alliance for Retired Americans President Norm Wernet, when asked about Donald Trump’s proposed coronavirus payroll tax cut that will provide zero benefit to the millions of Americans who have lost their jobs, while threatening Social Security’s dedicated stream of funding:
“This administration has not only not been senior-friendly, it has actively worked against the interests of seniors and against our next generation coming up. I have a son who’s in his mid-40s, and I want to see him be able to retire with some kind of dignity and respect. The idea that we would cut Social Security, that we would do a permanent payroll tax decrease or elimination, or even for a period of time and not make it up, undercuts the whole idea of Social Security and Medicare and undercuts the whole idea of retirement security.”
From state Rep. Stephanie Howse, when asked about caring for a loved one in a long-term care facility:
“Specifically those that are caregivers, that have loved ones that are in nursing homes and long-term care facilities, take care of yourself. You know for someone like myself, I have not been able to see my mother in quite a while and it’s not easy, especially when you have a coronavirus outbreak specifically in their facility, and you have to take care of yourself so that you’ll be alright and as we get through this you’ll be able to love and hug on your loved one again, but at the same time still working to press organizations to do right by people and making notes and raising some hell if you have to to ensure that your loved one is taken care of and protected during these times.”
From Council on Aging of Southwestern Ohio Board of Trustees Member Cathy Crain, when asked about supporting health care workers in nursing homes and long-term care facilities:
“When we pay people $10-15 an hour to take care of you and me and our parents and our husbands and wives and they can’t pay rent with only one job and they’re expected to go into harm’s way every day, they have to get another job and guess what? If there’s any infection that they have, it’s going into the next home as well as the first one.”