WPRI 12 News Washington DC Bureau

‘This is a very perilous time’: Trump announces new initiatives to protect senior citizens

Washington DC

WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) ─ President Donald Trump said his administration is taking an aggressive approach to protecting one of our nation’s most vulnerable populations.

During a White House meeting on Monday, Trump announced a new $2 million Department of Justice grant to fight senior fraud, which has been increasing during the pandemic. He also pointed to $81 million already earmarked for increased inspections of nursing homes nationwide.

“We have to keep all of our seniors safe, this is a very perilous time,” Trump said.

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator Seema Verma said while 80% of nursing homes haven’t had any cases or deaths from COVID-19, those that did have been devastated.

“Nursing homes are at major risk,” Verma said. “We are doubling down on our efforts to do testing for nursing home residents.”

Verma said nursing homes are still a major health concern and the path for seniors and their families to be reunited goes through testing.

“We want to make sure that those nursing homes are doing everything they can that they’re abiding by those long-standing infection control guidelines,” Verma said.

Chair of Protect Our Care Leslie Dach said Trump, even now, is still not serious about protecting seniors.

“The core job of the government to protect its people. Instead of doing that, the president chooses to downplay the risk,” Dach said.

But Verma said Trump has been and will stay focused on making sure the nation’s seniors are safe and protected.

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