Scott, Aging Committee Members Hold First Hearing Addressing Health Care Needs for Older Americans

WASHINGTON—Today, Ranking Member Tim Scott (R-S.C.), Chairman Bob Casey (D-Pa.), and members of the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging heard from a panel of witnesses about the ongoing health care needs of older Americans during the COVID-19 pandemic.

During the hearing, Senators Scott and Casey examined the ways in which older Americans are most at-risk of facing debilitating complications and hospitalizations because of COVID-19 and examined disparities in care within underserved groups. These groups include seniors with disabilities, rural constituencies and communities of color.


Click Video to Hear Ranking Member Scott’s Opening Statement

RM Tim Scott on South Carolina seniors…

“By the year 2034, senior citizens in our country will outnumber children, for the first time in history. This trend is especially pronounced in my home state of South Carolina. Nearly 18 percent of our population, about 900,000 South Carolinians, are ages 65 and older. This demographic shift highlights the importance of the Aging Committee and the issues we will face in the years to come.”

RM Tim Scott on the incredible work of President Trump’s Operation Warp Speed…

“When this Committee held its first hearing on COVID last May, the idea that we could develop an effective vaccine was still a dream.  The Trump administration had just launched Operation Warp Speed, a historic and groundbreaking private/public partnership, to produce a vaccine that could safely protect all Americans. Now, thanks to that unprecedented whole-of-America approach, we have at least three vaccines available to Americans that are more effective than anyone could have imagined.”

On his priorities as Ranking Member of the Aging Committee…

“As Ranking Member, I will champion everyday priorities such as financial security and health care, and make sure that we fight for all Americans, especially communities that are too often forgotten or left behind.” 


Click Video to Hear South Carolina Witness Anthony Jackson’s Testimony 

Anthony Jackson on the impact of COVID-19 in the Lowcountry… 

“Since the start of 2020, there have been 455,495 confirmed cases of COVID in South Carolina. This pandemic has disproportionately affected older Americans, and that was especially true at Roper St. Francis Healthcare. Over the past year, we experienced many difficult moments as our doctors and nurses worked bravely and tirelessly to treat COVID patients.” 

Anthony Jackson on telehealth in South Carolina…

“While we already had a platform in place for telehealth, the COVID pandemic required us to scale up quickly. Telehealth has proven so valuable that we intend to continue it in the long run. We have set a goal of maintaining 20 percent of all visits via telehealth, which opens doors for many vulnerable older Americans, particularly those who are homebound, those living with disabilities, and those who live in rural areas.”

On Vaccine Distribution in Berkeley County…

“We received our first batch of vaccine in December and began administering them to our health care workers on December 15. In January, we opened a COVID vaccination drive-thru for patients in the parking lot of the North Charleston Coliseum, a site that is used to accommodating crowds of more than 13,000 for events. We have the capacity to vaccinate up to 1,500 residents per day.

“Additionally, this week, we launched a pop-up drive thru location in Berkeley County for residents 55 and older. This is important because about three-quarters of Berkeley County’s 65 and older population has yet to be vaccinated.”