Pence delivers PPE to Alexandria nursing home

Vice President Pence delivered personal protective equipment from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to an Alexandria, Va., nursing home Thursday amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The vice president set out boxes of medical equipment in front of Woodbine Rehabilitation & Healthcare Center, saying it was one of the two deliveries FEMA will send to 15,400 nursing homes across the country. He said the delivery is intended to supplement medical equipment nursing homes are already receiving. 

“From early in the coronavirus epidemic, we recognized that the risk to seniors, particularly those with serious underlying health conditions, are very real,” Pence said. “And so there’s been emphasis from early on.”

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The nations' nursing homes and assisted living facilities have been hit hard by the pandemic as workers struggle to fight a disease that can be particularly dangerous for those over 65. 

Rear Adm. John Polowczyk said the delivery is part of a shipment of 63 million gloves, 14 million masks, 13 million gowns and slightly more than 1 million pieces of eye protection equipment that will be distributed to all nursing homes in the country. 

Pence also expressed his gratitude for the nurses inside the center, addressing them over the phone while standing outside the building.

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“All along the way, you’ll have been the heroes, and when this is all over, you will have the gratitude of the American people,” he told them. 

Pence and other officials assisting with the delivery were not wearing masks or gloves during the exchange. The vice president was criticized last week for not wearing a face covering in the Mayo Clinic, which he later said was a mistake.

Democratic Party of Virginia Executive Director on Thursday Andrew Whitley panned the Trump administration's response to the pandemic, citing a lack of testing and personal protective equipment.

"Mike PenceMichael (Mike) Richard PenceDallas megachurch that hosted Pence approved for millions in coronavirus aid White House chief of staff dismisses need for federal mandate on masks Congress gears up for battle over expiring unemployment benefits MORE can’t paper over this administration’s record of failures. Virginians don’t need another photo op — we need millions of tests, masks, gloves, and gowns in every corner of the Commonwealth, and we need them now,” he said.