Senate Hearing: COVID-19 One Year Later: Addressing Health Care Needs for At-Risk Americans

CITY OF WASHINGTON, D.C. (March 17, 2021)—the  Special Committee On Aging will hold a hearing Thursday addressing seniors and at-risk Americans health care needs during the COVID-19 pandemic.   U.S. Senator Tim Scott is the new lead Republican on the committee. 

The Center For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said “Older adults and people of any age who have serious underlying medical conditions like heart or lung disease or diabetes are at higher risk for developing more serious complications from COVID-19 illness.”

The risk of severe illness from COVID-19 increases with age. This is why CDC recommends that adults 65 years and older are one of the first groups to receive COVID-19 vaccines. Getting a COVID-19 vaccine is an important step to help prevent getting sick from COVID-19. That said, it might take time before enough vaccines are made for everyone who wants to be vaccinated.

One year ago, the World Health Organization (WHO) officially declared COVID-19 a pandemic, calling on countries to “take urgent and aggressive action” to stop the spread of the disease. Since March 11, 2020, our world has been transformed: In the United States, more than 500,000 lives have been lost, and economic and social activity have been disrupted in unprecedented ways.  Cities across America remains mostly closed—and small businesses have closed their doors due to the pandemic.

While the public health consequences of the pandemic have been among the most acute, the novel coronavirus has left no domain untouched: The arts have pivoted to virtual performances and programs, religious communities have found new ways to offer services, federal agencies have discovered how government can serve the public,  physicians have implemented new office visit plans, and lawyers have had to think differently about the government’s role in mitigating the crisis.

When these abilities are limited, there are differences in health and health care between groups  and health disparities are produced. But it’s important to note that acute illness hasn’t been the only negative outcome of the pandemic for these communities: They’ve also dealt with lost economic opportunities, education, and mental health challenges–communities of  color, and people at risk have especially, have experienced.

 Witnesses

  1. Dr. Anand Iyer, MD, MSPH
    Assistant Professor, Division Of Pulmonary, Allergy And Critical Care Medicine,
    University of Alabama at Birmingham
    Birmingham , AL
  2. Dr. Amy Houtrow, MD, PhD
    Professor And Vice Chair, Department Of Physical Medicine And Rehabilitation For Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine
    University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
    Pittsburgh , PA
  3. Anthony Jackson, MBA
    Senior Vice President And Chief Operating Officer
    Roper Saint Francis Healthcare
    Charleston , SC
  4. Sandra Harris
    Volunteer State President
    AARP Massachusetts
    Boston , MA

 

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