President Donald Trump announced plans for his administration to help the most vulnerable in nursing homes affected the coronavirus pandemic. (July 22)
PRES. DONALD TRUMP: First, we're requiring increased testing of the nursing home personnel in states where you had the worst outbreaks. All personnel will be tested at the highest level. We're distributing 15,000 rapid point-of-care diagnostic devices to support this effort. These are the tests where it takes five minutes or 15 minutes. They're very accurate. They're very good. And we're sending them all over the country.
Second, HHS will be distributing an additional $5 billion from the Provider Relief Fund to all nursing homes. Nursing homes and higher risk areas will be receiving more funding. This money can be used to address critical needs, including the hiring of additional staff, increasing testing, and providing technology support so residents can connect their families and--
CMS and CDC are implementing a national training program focused on infection control for those nursing homes that need it most. And we have them surveyed, and we have them mostly pinpointed. Over the past few months, we've created a surveillance system to detect outbreaks, and currently 99 percent of all nursing homes are reporting directly to it. So we have great data.
I want to send a message of support and hope to every senior citizen who has been dealing with the struggle of isolation, in what should be the golden years of your life. We will get to the other end of that tunnel very quickly, we hope. The light is starting to shine. We will get there very quickly, but we send our love. We send a message of love, very important. We're with you all the way.
Strategy is to shelter the highest-risk Americans, while allowing younger and healthier citizens to return to work or school while being careful and very vigilant. Wear a mask, socially distance, and repeatedly wash your hands. Practice very, very good sanitary means. You have to do this. You have to just-- you have to look at it differently. Wash your hands often.
We want young Americans to avoid packed bars and other crowded indoor gatherings, and we're all in this together. And as Americans, we're going to get this complete. We're going to do it properly. We've been doing it properly. Sections of the country come up that we didn't anticipate, for instance, Florida, Texas, et cetera. But we're working with very talented people, very brilliant people, and it's all going to work out.