Argentum President and CEO James Balda, pictured here delivering remarks at the 2019 Senior Living Executive Conference.

Argentum on Wednesday asked members of the Senate Appropriations Committee for up to $5 billion to ensure adequate testing and personal protective equipment in assisted living, memory care and continuing care retirement communities.

The prospects of another COVID-19-related stimulus package being passed this year are dimming, Argentum President and CEO James Balda said in a statement, so Argentum is asking the committee to earmark funding in the end-of-the-year budget. “With cases rising all across the country, these communities need resources now to procure adequate testing and sufficient PPE to protect their residents and staff,” he said.

“The situation is dire,” Balda wrote in a letter to Sens. Richard Shelby (R-AL) and Patrick Leahy (D-VT), chairman and vice chairman, respectively, of the Appropriations Committee, and Sens. Roy Blunt (R-MO) and Patty Murray (D-WA), chairman and ranking member, respectively, of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies. Other members of the Appropriations Committee were copied on the correspondence.

Balda also asked committee members to include language, either in the end-of-year budget or in the next COVID-19 relief legislation package, to ensure that resources are made available to all long-term care providers, including assisted living, memory care and continuing care communities.

“To win the COVID-19 battle, senior living communities must have the tools and resources needed to protect our nation’s most vulnerable populations,” he wrote.