What We're Reading: Black Youth Mental Health Tested; COVID-19 Cases Top 2 Million; Nursing Homes Seizing Stimulus Checks

June 11, 2020

A spotlight has been placed on the mental health of black American youth amid growing social unrest and disproportionate effects of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19); cases of COVID-19 in the United States reached 2 million yesterday; CMS advises nursing home residents know their rights amid allegations of stimulus check theft..

Protests, COVID-19 Disproportionately Affecting Mental Health of Black Youth

In a piece published by STAT, Black youth aged 18 to 29 are reported to be experiencing some of the highest rates of anxiety and depression in response to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, due to the disproportionate effect of the virus on their communities and the added stress precipitated by the death of George Floyd. In addition, since Floyd’s death, reported symptoms of stress and anxiety have ballooned to 40.5% among black adults compared with 33.1% of white people, based on a mental health survey from the CDC and the Census Bureau. These adverse associations align with prior study results that link black Americans with a heightened risk of chronic stress due to discrimination and socioeconomic status.

US Reaches 2 Million COVID-19 Cases

Yesterday, the United States surpassed 2 million confirmed cases of COVID-19, with new infections reportedly rising in at least 20 states. Per NPR, US mortality due to the virus surpasses all other countries, with more than 112,000 deaths, which most experts believe is actually an underestimation. As states nationwide begin to ease social distancing restrictions, many are seeing cases spike. For example, Texas, one of the first to start the reopening process, set new records for COVID-19 hospitalizations on 3 days this week, marked by a total of 2153 hospitalized patients yesterday.

CMS Addresses Allegations of Nursing Homes Seizing Stimulus Checks

Amid allegations accusing some nursing homes of seizing stimulus checks of residents authorized under the CARES act, CMS released a news alert indicating the practice as illegal and subject to law enforcement. While no specific complaints have been received by CMS, the agency highlighted the importance of residents and families knowing their rights and of nursing homes understanding the ramifications, which could result in potential termination from participation in Medicare and Medicaid.