It has been obvious for a long time that COVID-19 is more or less harmless to the young, but can be lethal to the old and the infirm. In Minnesota, as Scott has tirelessly documented, around 80% of deaths associated with the Wuhan virus have occurred in nursing homes and assisted living facilities. There are several other states, including New York, where similar carnage has occurred in nursing homes. In other states, however, nursing homes and assisted living facilities have not been a major problem.
Why is this? What policies have kept the elderly safe in many states, while exposing them to fatal infection in alarming numbers in others?
The statistics are eye-opening. Deaths among nursing home residents in a handful of states make up an extraordinary percentage of fatalities attributed to the Wuhan virus nationwide. Why is this? What does it tell us about the threats posed, or not posed, by COVID-19? And what lessons can be learned for future epidemics?
If you are interested in these questions, you should tune in one week from tomorrow, at noon on Wednesday July 22, when I will host a webinar featuring Avik Roy and Karin Housley. Avik Roy is the president of the Foundation for Research on Equal Opportunity, a think tank based in Austin, Texas, and has, more than anyone else, analyzed the national data on COVID deaths in nursing homes and elsewhere.
Karin Housley is a friend; more important, she is the Chairwoman of the Minnesota Senate’s Committee on Family Care and Aging. As such, she has been a critic of her state’s inept policies toward long term care residents, possibly the nation’s worst. She also was the Republican nominee for the U.S. Senate in 2018.
This will be a uniquely well-informed discussion of the role that congregate housing plays in COVID death rates, and of the reasons why some states, like New York and Minnesota, have done so much worse than most others. It should shed a great deal of light on often-misleading COVID fatality numbers, while providing guidance for the next epidemic.
To register for this (free!) webinar, go here. I will be there a week from tomorrow, and I hope to see you there too!