REPORT: Failures in COVID-19 Response Harm People with Disabilities and Older Adults

The Partnership for Inclusive Disaster Strategies released a report tracking 154 consecutive daily stakeholder calls on the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on people with disabilities and older adults throughout the United States.

The Partnership for Inclusive Disaster Strategies released a report documenting the pandemic over 154 consecutive daily calls with disability and older adult stakeholder across the country. The Report: COVID-19 & Disability Rights Daily Calls: February 23 – July 31identifies patterns showing the failure of the pandemic response to prioritize the lives of people with disabilities and older adults, despite making up over 42% of COVID-19 deaths. It also shows the disability and older adults stakeholders’ initiatives to anticipate and mitigate the unfolding crisis. 

“As the U.S. passes 5.5 million COVID-19 cases- and 72,958+  deaths- we host COVID-19 and Disability Rights Calls each and every day to discuss how we can prevent disabled people and older adults from continuing to bear the brunt of the pandemic,” says Shaylin Sluzalis, The Partnership’s Co-Executive Director, “So far, we have been used for medical experiments, denied equal access to testing and medical care, and left to die in nursing facilities and other congregate settings- even as they are epicenters of outbreaks. We need a national COVID-19 response that prioritizes the rights and lives of people with disabilities and older adults: We must do better.”   Daily call participants include stakeholders from across the country, including disabled persons organizations, advocates, public health policymakers, emergency planners, state and federal partners. Report: COVID-19 & Disability Rights Daily Calls: February 23 – July 31 provides an overview and summarizes the discussions held between February and July.


To join the listserv and daily calls, e-mail directors@disasterstrategies.org. For more information on COVID-19 and disability rights, visit “COVID-19 Community-Wide Resources.”

The Partnership for Inclusive Disaster Strategies (The Partnership) is the only national disability-led organization with a mission of equal access to emergency and disaster programs before, during and after disasters for people with disabilities. We are the nation’s experts on disability rights, accessibility and inclusion throughout all phases of emergency preparedness, disaster operations and community-wide disaster recovery.

www.disasterstrategies.org | (301) 960-8722‬ | media@disasterstrategies.org | @disasterstrat

2 Comments on “REPORT: Failures in COVID-19 Response Harm People with Disabilities and Older Adults

  1. I almost feel over when I found our your org exists. Thank you for being. Certainly support exists for those with disabilities for the largest disaster now years long. The housing crisis needs to be declared. I’m disabled and lost my home August 18 despite please to my landlord for my life. Help was on the way but on Covid delay. No consideration what so ever for my disabilities, the emergency plans already in motion, or any delays related to Covid. No short term housing resources. Calls to Airbnb, Salvation Army, hotel chains won;t look at me unless I’m sick with Covid. I’m incentivised to get the disease I’m just the first of millions out the door. Nada. How is this not a mega disaster? If my house burned down or I contracted HIV or got addicted to drugs, I wouldn’t be on the street today. With none of those, I can;t even get legal assistance. My next step is applying for asylum in countries where they don’t murder their citizens or shorten their life spans. This is not a joke. It’s an actual plan. I’ve been going to Africa for healthcare for years. I can;t even get a diagnosis in America due to bigotry written in the definition of my condition. How is our own healthcare system not declared a disaster in itself. The number one threats to my life for five years running – local, state and federal government, my health insurance and the health care system itself and now also the streets of Los Angeles. Thanks. How do I press charges for attempted murder? I think the police fall under the former but worth an individual mention. The LAPD has beaten me up for answering my door. This is what those with invisible disabilities face when no one’s looking. With no help. No representation. No diagnosis. No home. No ones looked this way yet. What part of any of this is not a disaster? The exclusion from Covid devastating at best. The most discriminatory group of all – the charitable community. They can legally choose or refuse anyone they want. If it’s not declared a disaster and I’m not specifically included, I’m as good as gone.Ok. Forgive I’m preaching to the choir here. Its just no one listens. If you need a story to add depth to your case, help me survive by visiting my website. We need a happy ending somewhere. I’m trying to at least show the millions in tow there’s at least a possibility. I don’t know anyone who’s through the other side of a pandemic eviction with any notes of success. Help me change that. Better yet, let’s stop the rest from happening all together. All of it unnecessary and straight up reckles. Exclusion needs to be criminalized. I consider it negligence and attempted murder.

  2. That’s NO* support certainly exists. The last thing I need is for anyone to think it’s there. The point is it’s NOT.

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