No Matter What Trump Decides to Tell You, Staying Home Saves Lives

A daily Covid-19 update from Andy Slavitt, former head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services

Andy Slavitt
Medium Coronavirus Blog
4 min readMar 24, 2020


Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Pulled from my daily COVID-19 updates on Twitter

Today I’ve been on the phone with both Democratic and Republican negotiators in the room. With several governors and a former presidential candidate on how to get people to #StayHome. Good and bad news came to me today, I will happily report the former and gently report the latter.

Democrats would say they can’t move forward because not enough money goes to states and people who need it the most. It may not be on our minds, but state budgets are going to be under strain. New York is talking at least a $7 billion deficit at least.

States have a lot of services they need to provide. Low income people will need to get many services. Republicans and Trump are more focused on declaring economic victory. Too early.

Dems are resisting the GOP bill because it excludes:

  • community-based nursing homes
  • community mental health providers
  • home health
  • group homes for individuals w disabilities
  • rape crises centers
  • community health centers

Several reporters called me very concerned that the Larry Kudlow argument is having an influence on Trump. Namely that more people will die from a bad economy than from the pandemic. I do understand the struggle, and the argument, but we can’t just say let’s end all this #StayHome on a specific day. It can only happen when we have sufficient community testing. Not the rosy version of our testing capability. But the actual ability. Tomorrow I’m calling lab companies to get a read on where they really are.

While Trump is rosy and economically focused (he just tried to get Dr. Burke to say life would get back to…



Andy Slavitt
Medium Coronavirus Blog

Former Medicare, Medicaid & ACA head for Pres. Barack Obama.