The immunological vulnerability of seniors to COVID-19 is well known and documented over the last several years. However, the COVID pandemic has been difficult for older Americans in numerous ways beyond physical health. Many suffered from social isolation and millions “retired” early.
On December 13, the Brookings Institution’s Retirement Security Project presented a discussion of these issues. Assistant Secretary of the Treasury Benjamin Harris talked about the challenges COVID has imposed on the health, work, and social lives of seniors and retirees as well as the federal policies that have served to offset those challenges. Harris, while noting that many of the policies were not framed as “retirement policy” or “senior policy,” believes their effects on retirement, senior health, and economic security are significant and deserve greater attention.
Following Assistant Secretary Harris, Brookings Senior Fellow Richard Frank discussed the effects of the recent health policy changes, and Senior Fellow Louise Sheiner talked about the effects of COVID on senior employment and retirement. All three presenters then joined in on a discussion moderated by Brookings Guest Scholar Joshua Gotbaum on behalf of the Retirement Security Project.
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