CT Senators join teleconference with AARP to discuss impact of coronavirus on seniors


HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH)– Connecticut’s U.S. senators have a message for seniors. Senators Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy joined a phone call with AARP members, an organization that serves about 600,000 here in Connecticut.

“We are not going to recover economically until we turn the tide on this insidious disease,” said Blumenthal.

They’re among the most vulnerable in this global pandemic and in Connecticut, seniors on Medicaid make up more than 20 percent of the population.

Tuesday many of those AARP members joined a telephone conference with federal lawmakers and medical experts to discuss life amid Covid-19. AARP has been advocating for more communication among nursing homes.

“To make sure that while these nursing homes handle the crisis, they still provide an ability for people to see their loved ones even if it’s virtually,” said Murphy.

Officials urged members to maintain social distance, while warning of the issues it can cause for seniors.

“Because really what we’re trying to do is just keep people away from each other for the time being. Not socially. Physically. And that social distancing is really a bad thing because when you have a lack social engagement can lead to all kinds of negative health outcomes,” said Nick Nicholson, PhD, Quinnipiac University Assoc. Professor of Nursing.

AARP is also pushing the state to move to vote-by-mail efforts in the June presidential primary. Among the first questions seniors want answered: when will the economy re-open and social distance be a thing of the past.

Senators warn… we’re not there yet.

“We still have tested only a tiny percent of the population in Connecticut and around the country,” said Blumenthal.

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