Trump declares May ‘Older Americans Month’ as social distancing guidelines expire Thursday

President Trump has shown he is keen on going back to life before lockdown and host rallies and other major events, as governors also plan to ease their states’ restrictions before the weekend. Trump has met four governors at the White House so far this week.

During a meeting with New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, Trump lauded himself for a “spectacular job” and repeated his claim that the US is the “king of ventilators”.

The president still does not have a coronavirus task force briefing in place, but has taken the opportunity at other scheduled engagements to answer questions about his administration’s handling of the pandemic.

The US is facing a record-breaking surge in unemployment claims as the country’s economy sees its worst decline since the Great Recession.

Trump is under mounting pressure as the November presidential election approaches.

In an attempt to highlight his claims on “protecting America’s seniors”, Trump has declared the month of May “Older Americans Month.”

Trump said: “I’ll sign a proclamation declaring the month of may to be Older Americans Month,

“I don’t know if I’m in that category. I have a feeling I am.”

The measures the federal government is taking to keep those in care homes safe include having FEMA send supplemental shipments of personal protective equipment to 15,400 Medicaid and Medicare certified nursing homes.

Trump has also ramped up the number of care home inspections with the CARES Act.

“That’s a spot that we have to take care of. I guess you could call it a little bit of a weak spot, because things are happening at the nursing homes, and we’re not happy about that. We don’t want it to happen,” Trump said.

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He said that the administration is finalising a measure this week to demand nursing homes’ feedback about Covid-19 cases directly to the CDC, “and testing data will be posted online, so everyone gets to see it”.

He added that a new “Coronavirus Commission for Safety and Quality in Nursing Homes” will be introduced, too.

Trump said: “This commission will be composed of leading industry experts, doctors and scientists, resident and patient advocates, family members, infection and prevention control specialists, and state and local authorities,”

“[It] will convene in May and issue recommendations for further steps we can take to protect our nation’s seniors.”

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Trump also called up GOP Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee to the podium, the fourth governor to visit the White House this week, and Mr Lee sounded confident that his state’s testing capacity was sufficient, as was the care their seniors are receiving.

Mr Lee said: ”In Tennessee, we are committed to testing every resident in every staff and every one of our 700 long-term care facilities. It will be a great undertaking, but it honours the value of these lives in those facilities.

“I haven’t hugged my own elderly mom in eight weeks, but we are doing right by the citizens.”

During his meeting with with Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy of New Jersey in the Oval Office, the third governor to attend this week, Trump continued to applaud his administrations efforts in the fight against coronavirus.

On his claims that the US is “the king of ventilators” Trump said that the federal government has done a “spectacular” job.

He added: ”To a point where we are building now — we are going to have thousands and thousands of ventilators, and we are helping other countries.

“Because Phil doesn’t need ventilators. You needed them very badly in the beginning.”

“We did,” replied the governor of New Jersey, whose state had seen nearly 7,000 deaths at the time of the meeting.

Mr Murphy added: “The financial assistance we need, and we need a significant amount, this is a big hit and this is somewhere, in New Jersey alone could be $20 to 30 billion.

“This is to allow us to keep firefighters, teachers, police, EMS on the payroll serving the communities in their hour of need. That’s something we feel strongly about,”

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