The American Health Care Association and the National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) released a report on December 1 local time that the recently reported confirmed cases of COVID-19 in American nursing homes have reached a milestone high since spring, especially in the Midwest.
As of December 2, the number of hospitalizations with COVID-19 in the United States exceeded 100,000 for the first time, setting a new high. At a time when the epidemic is raging, due to the ineffectiveness of the federal-level vaccine plan and rescue negotiations, the outside world has put a big question mark on whether the United States can control the epidemic and recover the economy as soon as possible.
Nursing homes report the most cases since spring
The American Health Care Association and the National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) released a report on December 1 that nursing homes in the United States recently reported the most confirmed cases of COVID-19 since spring, which is related to the surge in infection rates across the United States.
“As COVID-19 spreads wildly across the general population, and long-term care facilities are unable to stop the spread of the virus because of asymptomatic infections or infections before symptoms appear, our worst concerns have come true.” Mark Parkinson, president and CEO of the American Health Care Association and the National Center for Assisted Living, said in a statement.
The above-mentioned report shows that the epidemic in nursing homes in the Midwest of the United States is particularly serious, with weekly cases increasing by more than 400% since mid-September. During the week of November 15-21, 49% of the new cases in nursing homes in the United States came from the Midwest.
The report also shows that from mid-September to mid-November, the number of new cases in nursing homes across the United States increased by 177% a week. The rise in new cases is accompanied by a rise in COVID-19 deaths in nursing homes.
The report cited data from Johns Hopkins University and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Health experts say the increased community spread of the virus is a significant sign of a surge in nursing homes.
“With our elderly population being the most vulnerable and the spread of the pandemic across the nation showing no signs of stopping, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) should give the highest priority to providing vaccines to households and staff at long-term care facilities.” Parkinson said.
Nursing home residents are expected to be vaccinated against the first batch of vaccines.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention voted on December 1 to recommend that state and local governments in the United States give priority to medical workers, long-term residents and nursing homes and caregivers as the first batch of COVID-19 vaccinations, covering about 24 million people, including about 21 million medical staff and 300 Ten thousand long-term care facility residents.
The Advisory Committee on Immunization, an advisory group from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, made the decision by a 13-1 vote on the same day in an online videoconference. The committee, which is composed of American scientific experts, is not binding as an advisory panel, but its recommendations have received extensive attention from the medical community for decades and are considered to be decisive in the scope and funding of the vaccination program in the United States.
The advisory group said that medical workers are the top priority in the fight against the epidemic and should be listed as the first batch of vaccinations. In addition, official data show that since the outbreak of the novel coronavirus in the United States, nearly 40% of the deaths from COVID-19 infection have been from long-term residents and nursing homes. Therefore, it is recommended that this group be the first to be vaccinated. If approved by the federal government, these recommendations will become the official recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on coronavirus vaccination, providing guidance to state governments.
Vaccine plan and bailout negotiations are still weak.
Behind the epidemic in nursing homes is the reality that the epidemic continues to worsen across the United States. According to the statistics of the COVID Tracking Project, as of December 2, the number of COVID-19 patients in the United States was hospitalized for the first time to exceed 100,000, almost twice as many as during the spring outbreak of COVID-19. The project said via official Twitter that with the current hospitalizations reaching 100,000, the temporary decline in new deaths after the holiday began to rebound, similar to what happened after Labor Day.
According to Bloomberg, the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations in the most densely populated northeast of the United States has surged 63% in the past 14 days to 14,071, led by New York and Pennsylvania. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo pointed out at a press conference on December 1 that the number of hospitalizations in New York State has reached 3,774.
Cuomo said that there are major omissions in the federal plan, which will significantly hinder the effective implementation of vaccinations. Not only did the federal government not provide any funding to the states, but the existing federal programs did not propose any effective options to provide vaccines to African Americans, brown races and poor communities, which would mean that the vaccine program would be almost impossible to succeed.
Cuomo previously said that the U.S. states will spend a total of $8 billion to complete the vaccine delivery, but the federal government has only provided $200 million so far.
In addition to the question of vaccines, American society has almost lost patience with the reality that a new round of relief measures has been delayed, which has also put great pressure on many members of Congress in their respective constituencies. In this situation, some members from both houses of Congress have recently announced a $908 billion rescue proposal, hoping to find a compromise between the positions of Democratic and Republican leaders.
The proposal, which will last through March 2021, includes some of the measures sought by both parties, including a $160 billion allocation to state and local governments, which has been one of the biggest cruxes of the congressional game, according to the Wall Street Journal. The proposal also includes $288 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program, $16 billion for the coronavirus vaccine distribution campaign, $82 billion for schools, $25 billion for rent assistance, and $180 billion for additional unemployment benefits, including $300 a week until the end of March. Unemployment benefit. In addition, the plan will allocate 17 billion US dollars to airlines.
But according to CNBC, Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is not interested in the bipartisan $908 billion stimulus plan that is trying to break the legislative deadlock. What he wants is to pass a targeted bailout bill of about $500 billion this year. The news has thrown a basin of cold water on the market, reminding the outside world of the same bipartisan tug-of-war pattern for several months.
At present, the economic community is increasingly skeptical about the bailout bill. Federal Reserve Chairman Powell reiterated his view on December 1 that additional government spending will support a more lasting economic recovery. “Vaccines may be the light at the end of the tunnel, but rolling out some financial support will really help the economy in the long run,” he said at a Senate hearing.