Nursing home advocates seek help from federal leaders

WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — Nursing homes are in desperate need of help as COVID surges across the country. Supporters say they are being let down by Washington DC leaders

Military medical teams are on their way to help struggling hospitals. FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell says they’re focused on getting help where it’s needed most.

“They stand side by side with the heroes, working on the front lines in your communities,” Criswell said.

Meanwhile, Mark Parkison, president of the American Health Care Association, says nursing homes are being forgotten.

“The same situation that hospitals, nursing homes and both are in need of help,” Parkinson said.

Specifically, he’s asking federal leaders to prioritize nursing homes for COVID treatments, better access to testing and more staff.

“When older people are prioritized, we can achieve good clinical outcomes and we can save lives,” Parkinson said.

He is also concerned that the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the vaccination mandate for health care workers could worsen staffing shortages.

“Do we want to have nursing homes and hospitals with hardly any workers? Or do we want to have unvaccinated workers for whom additional precautions can be taken? says Parkinson.

The Biden administration celebrates the court’s decision.

“There should be strict and strict requirements in hospitals and medical facilities to ensure the safety of the people who work there and also to ensure the safety of patients,” said White House press secretary Jen Psaki.

FEMA says it listens to all requests from overburdened states and health care systems.

“We will continue to increase staff, push resources and provide support using all the tools we have to fight COVID-19,” Criswell said.

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