Virus disaster signs mount over nursing homes

With the death toll from the Coronavirus in the United States moving closer to 40,000 people, nursing homes and other senior living facilities have become a battleground in the fight to stop the virus, as the elderly are sometimes easy targets for the illness.

"It is the feeding frenzy for this virus," said New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) on Saturday, as he has started listing the number of deaths each day from senior facilities.

"Nursing homes are the single biggest fear in all of this," Cuomo added.

In a Friday story, the New York Times estimated that almost 7,000 people connected to nursing homes in the U.S. have died of the Coronavirus.

And the headlines from around the nation are almost endless.

On Saturday, the Governor of Florida abruptly changed his position on releasing nursing home infection information, after fighting efforts to make that information public.

Under pressure from the Miami Herald and other news media organizations which were ready to file public records requests, the state of Florida on Saturday finally released data about Coronavirus infections at nursing homes in the state.

But the eight page list only showed which facilities had been hit by the virus - without indicating how many cases involved patients or staff, or the number of deaths involved.

It was a reversal for Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) whose administration signaled it was ready for a legal battle over the information.

Democrats accused DeSantis of blocking Coronavirus information on nursing homes and prisons, and not doing enough to help with tests for the virus.

"Transparency is necessary so that we can all work together to save lives and help our communities through this crisis," said Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL).

The stories from other states indicated widespread problems as well.

As of Friday, Coronavirus infections had been found in almost two-thirds of the nursing homes in the state of Maryland.

Virus tests were ordered for all nursing homes in West Virginia, as Gov. Jim Justice (R) said more needs to be done.

"The entire situation with our nursing homes is not as good as it needs to be," the Governor said Friday.