In some places governors demanded that nursing homes take COVID-19 patients even though it was clear that the people there were at greater risk. We’ll talk about this on the next Heart Health Radio show Saturday at noon on WPTF.
The great influenza of 1918-19, for example, tended to kill otherwise healthy people in the prime of life, ages 20 to 40. The COVID-19 virus tends to kill people age 70 and above, especially those with comorbidities.
Yet, even though that was apparent early on, America’s governors have done a poor job of protecting those most at risk — residents of nursing homes, elderly people with physical frailties and, often, cognitive impairment.
The result: One-third of reported coronavirus deaths in the United States, according to the New York Times’s reporting, are of nursing home residents or workers. And nursing homes accounted for a majority of deaths in heavily hit states, such as New Jersey (52%), Massachusetts (59%), Pennsylvania (66%), and Connecticut (55%), and for 80% of deaths in otherwise lightly hit Minnesota.
That percentage is much lower (20%) in America’s COVID-19 epicenter, New York, but the Empire State still leads the nation with 5,403 nursing home deaths — about 1 out of every 14 COVID-19 deaths in the entire country.
Why so many?
Read the whole thing, or listen to Heart Health Radio on FM 98.5 AM 680 WPTF. We’re on Apple Podcasts and WPTF.com.