During a recent White House roundtable discussion, President Trump emphasized the need to protect seniors during the COVID-19 pandemic. He focused on two problems in particular; the problem of senior fraud and the problem of nursing home deaths.
Senior fraud was a huge problem before the COVID-19 pandemic with American seniors losing billions each year. Scammers target seniors because they often have savings and they are trusting when approached. To deal with the issue, The President announced a new $2 million Department of Justice grant to fight senior fraud. He said, “We have to keep all of our seniors safe, this is a very perilous time.”
In addition, seniors are more likely to die from COVID-19 and are therefore justified in being especially concerned about the pandemic. Many scammers are offering false information about the pandemic as a way of taking advantage of the fears of those most at risk from the crisis.
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator Seema Verma said that while 80% of nursing homes haven’t had any COVID-19 cases or deaths, those that did, have been devastated. Given the risk, she said, “We are doubling down on our efforts to do testing for nursing home residents. To deal with this problem, Trump pointed to $81 million already earmarked for increasing inspections of nursing homes nationwide.