July 01, 2020

Senator Hassan Takes to Senate Floor to Call for Immediate Action to Protect Nursing Homes, Schools Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan joined her colleagues on the Senate floor this evening to deliver two speeches calling for immediate action to protect nursing home residents and staff who have been hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, and calling for additional support for schools.


To watch the Senator’s floor speech calling for greater federal support to nursing homes, click here.


Senator Hassan began, “Across the United States, 43 percent of COVID-19 deaths have been linked to nursing homes. And in New Hampshire, roughly 80 percent – 80 percent -- of our state’s deaths from this virus have been in nursing homes and long-term care facilities. The grief of losing a loved one – compounded with the fact that families couldn’t be at their side – is unimaginable.”


The Senator continued, “Months into this pandemic, there is still no robust federal strategy to support residents and employees of nursing homes. That is inexcusable.”


Senator Hassan went on to highlight a bill she cosponsored, led by Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), that would provide $20 billion in emergency funding for nursing homes, intermediate care facilities, and psychiatric hospitals to support costs related to staffing, testing, personal protective equipment, and other essential needs. It would also require the Department of Health and Human Services to collect and publish data and analysis on COVID-19 cases and deaths in these facilities.


“Delaying vital assistance to these facilities will have dire consequences for people in New Hampshire and all across our country,” Senator Hassan said. “I urge my Republican colleagues to support this legislation. I urge them to come to the table and work with Democrats to strengthen the federal response to this pandemic.”


Earlier in the evening, the Senator spoke on the Senator floor about the need to provide additional funding to support students, teachers, and parents who have had to adjust to the difficulties of remote learning during this public health challenge.  


“In New Hampshire and across the country, this pandemic has turned families’ lives upside down,” Senator Hassan said. “As classrooms shifted to living rooms, many parents have had to take on new roles, balancing teaching their children with their own day-to-day work.”


The Senator discussed legislation that she cosponsored, led by Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) to help meet the needs of students in child care centers, K-12 schools, and institutions of higher education.


In discussing the important funding provided in this bill, Senator Hassan said, “This funding would help address challenges with students who have fallen behind. It would help schools institute public health protocol and it would give schools more resources to ensure that all students get a quality education – whether it is in-person, remotely, or a combination of both.”


Senator Hassan has been working to support students and teachers during this challenging time, and Senator Hassan also helped to introduce legislation led by Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) that would increase funding to support students who experience disabilities. She also wrote an op-ed with Senator Murphy for The 74 about the importance of including additional funding for schools in the next COVID-19 relief package, including an additional $11 billion in state grants dedicated to support students who experience disabilities.