Today’s update begins with a statement from one of the leading voices behind the nationwide lockdown: Coronavirus Task Force member Dr. Anthony Fauci.

Yesterday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Robert Redfield told The Hill he thinks the U.S. can reopen. Now, Fauci is saying that staying closed to long may be harmful to the nation’s economic health.

Stay-at-home orders intended to curb the spread of the coronavirus could end up causing “irreparable damage” if imposed for too long, White House health advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci told CNBC on Friday.

“I don’t want people to think that any of us feel that staying locked down for a prolonged period of time is the way to go,” Fauci said during an interview with CNBC’s Meg Tirrell on “Halftime Report.”

He said the U.S. had to institute severe measures because Covid-19 cases were exploding then. “But now is the time, depending upon where you are and what your situation is, to begin to seriously look at reopening the economy, reopening the country to try to get back to some degree of normal.”

It appears that the entire administration is lining up for a full reopening of the economy.

Over 4,500 virus patients sent to NY nursing homes

When the responses to the pandemic are reviewed, the decisions that led officials to press sending elderly and chronically ill individuals who were infected with the coronavirus back into facilities where other vulnerable elderly and chronically ill patients were being cared for will need to be carefully reviewed. Special attention will need to be given if these facilities were forced to take in patients after they indicated they did not have the resources to handle the infected.

More than 4,500 recovering coronavirus patients were sent to New York’s already vulnerable nursing homes under a controversial state directive that was ultimately scrapped amid criticisms it was accelerating the nation’s deadliest outbreaks, according to a count by The Associated Press.

AP compiled its own tally to find out how many COVID-19 patients were discharged from hospitals to nursing homes under the March 25 directive after New York’s Health Department declined to release its internal survey conducted two weeks ago. It says it is still verifying data that was incomplete.

Whatever the full number, nursing home administrators, residents’ advocates and relatives say it has added up to a big and indefensible problem for facilities that even Gov. Andrew Cuomo — the main proponent of the policy — called “the optimum feeding ground for this virus.”

CMS administrator Verma responds to NY Gov. Cuomo, outlines renewed effort to protect nursing home residents from COVID-19

Recently, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo tried to blame President Donald Trump for the staggering number of deaths at the state’s nursing homes.

First Gov. Andrew Cuomo blamed nursing homes for a widely criticized directive from his Health Department barring the facilities from turning away coronavirus-positive people — now he’s pawning it off on the White House.

Critics should “ask President Trump” about it, the governor said Wednesday, arguing that the federal government actually cooked up the mandate — and that New York was just following Washington’s lead.

Coronavirus Task Force member and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) administrator Seema Verma responded with a robust plan that would have saved lives if it has been implemented.

Verma also recently outlined renewed efforts to protect nursing home residents from infection.

“When doctors and hospitals are discharging patients from hospitals, they have to make sure that we are discharging the patient to a place that can accommodate their needs,” Verma said. “And if that person is still testing positive, they need to be isolated and … [medical professionals must] make sure that isolation and care can continue in the most appropriate setting.”

..”One of the things we did on the federal level was to increase reimbursement for testing and actually, for the first time, pay for labs to go out to nursing homes to collect samples,” said Verma, who insisted that “more and more nursing homes” are now being tested.

Earlier Monday, the CDC issued guidelines on reopening nursing homes, outlining parameters around testing, but stopped short of federally mandating them, host Martha MacCallum observed.

Verma said the administration is open to moving “towards a requirement” if “we felt like there wasn’t compliance … but at this time we feel like the recommendation around testing is a baseline, so we not only want to test the residents, but we also want to make sure that the health care staff and that nursing facility is also tested as well.”

 

 
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