Julia Shenkar,

Issued September 17, 2020

SEIU’s Henry: Trump administration’s nursing home report sidesteps employer accountability, fails to underscore the importance of listening to workers first

Following the release of the final report of the administration’s COVID-19 nursing home task force, SEIU International President Mary Kay Henry released the following statement:

“From the earliest days of the pandemic, President Trump has denied the science behind this deadly virus, lied about it, and endangered more people to protect Wall Street and corporations. As these deaths mounted and grew into the tens of thousands, we have grieved the senseless deaths of too many essential workers and residents of our nation’s nursing homes. 

“Despite acknowledging that 41 percent of COVID-19 deaths have been tied to nursing homes, the Trump administration’s report completely fails to hold nursing home owners to account for their failure to protect workers and residents. This failure is exacerbated by the administration’s longstanding efforts to weaken safety measures and the corporate greed of far too many for-profit nursing home owners. 
“Working people across this country are outraged that this pandemic has taken the lives of so many people and yet nursing home workers are still fighting to have enough PPE and regular testing and pay, and Black and brown communities are still being ravaged by a public health, economic and racial justice crisis with no response from our government. 
“Frontline workers who have been blowing the whistle in their workplaces, raising bold demands, and going on strike deserve a seat at the table with owners and our government to bargain for better protection and testing, safe staffing, and a livable wage so we can reform the nursing home industry and ensure all essential workers are respected and protected. 

“And make no mistake: workers, residents and families who have paid an unbearable price for this administration’s failures will cast their ballots in the names of those they’ve lost on election day. We are ready to vote for Joe Biden and courageous leaders at all levels of government who will put working people first and allow medical experts to do their jobs so that a tragedy of this magnitude never repeats itself.”