It goes without saying that the current administration has embedded contradictions.
While it claims to be working to save lives due to the pandemic, President Trump continues to publicly flout the recommendations to curb it: wearing face masks and adhering to social distancing.
Talk about mixed messaging.
Another such contradiction occurred last week. One day the president received rightful backlash for mocking Joe Biden as a nursing home resident. The next day he declared that residents could receive free vaccines through a major new initiative involving retailers Walgreens and CVS.
“I’m moving heaven and Earth to safeguard our seniors from the China virus, to deliver lifesaving therapies in record time, and to distribute a safe and effective vaccine before the end of the year,” he said during an event Friday in Fort Myers, FL.
The program sounds impressive (though it does not emphasize enough that providers can still use their current institutional pharmacists and pharmacies). But what are we to make of the way the president acted in the meme he sent about his opponent? I don’t think it goes too far to call it upsetting, disgraceful and not at all befitting the office in which he holds. I also don’t think it’s wrong to assume he displayed his real feelings about the elderly and nursing home residents, no matter what course his actions take.
And, as evidence by the vaccine program and other moves, such as the testing initiative, the administration has done valiant things on behalf of nursing home residents. Making fun of a group of people for political gain, however, just reinforces unhelpful and unhealthy stereotypes that only make providers’ jobs harder.
The administration should continue to do the work of improving the lives of those most affected by the pandemic and leave the name-calling out of it. That will send a clear message for others to follow.
McKnight’s offers columns representing a wide range of opinions addressing a variety of issues that affect readers in long-term care workplace settings. Guest submissions are welcomed. Please see our submission guidelines here.
Liza Berger is Senior Editor of McKnight’s Long-Term Care News. Follow her @LizaBerger19.