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Blumenthal Pushes For More Aid For Nursing Home Workers

U.S. Senate
A screenshot of video of U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal speaking at Thursday's Senate hearing on senior care during the coronavirus pandemic.

U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut says nearly 70% of all COVID-19 cases in the country are residents of nursing homes or assisted living facilities.

Blumenthal wants more assistance for workers at those facilities, which he says have been understaffed.

“That’s why I have supported the hazardous duty pay, the Heroes Fund for our nursing home workers, who all too often are risking their lives or making financial sacrifices. And it’s more than just rewarding or recognizing them, it’s also to retain them.”

Blumenthal was speaking at a Senate hearing on Thursday, where he also asked Tamara Konetzka, professor at the University of Chicago, about the issue.

“Isn’t it a fact that all too often the employees of these nursing homes are underpaid for the risky and backbreaking work that they do?”

“That’s exactly right. Nursing home workers, especially nurse aides, are generally paid minimum wage, often have no paid sick leave, and often have no health insurance,” Konetzka said.

The Connecticut Department of Public Health released reports from random nursing home inspections this week. They found facilities needed to improve coronavirus infection control measures.

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