From Senators Craig Wilcox and Sue Rezin:
Senators Wilcox and Rezin demand further investigation into LaSalle Veterans’ Home deaths
The role of government is to take care of those who require assistance or who cannot take care of themselves.
This responsibility is especially important for our aging veterans, who answered a call to serve, and who are now living out their twilight years in one of our state-run Veterans’ Homes.
Earlier yesterday I joined Senator Sue Rezin, State Representative David Welter, and several veterans’ groups at a press conference outside of the LaSalle Veterans’ Home.
Together, we demanded a deeper investigation into mismanagement during the COVID-19 crisis that cost 36 veterans their lives, and caused over 100 other veterans and staff members to become infected with the virus.
Click here to listen to my remarks.
The top-to-bottom incompetence shown in the management of this crisis is an outrage.
The Pritzker administration, his appointees, and those managing the day-to-day operations at this facility had a responsibility to protect the veterans who live in the LaSalle facility.
Instead, their carelessness resulted in the deadliest outbreak at a state-run facility in Illinois history.
At the press conference, we also renewed a call for passage of important legislation that addresses the complete breakdown of mandated COVID-19 protocols, including:
- Senate Bill 2251: requires IDPH to engage in an onsite visit within one business day of an infectious outbreak at a veterans’ home (filed Feb. 26, never granted a hearing)
- Senate Bill 1471: requires state-run facilities to conduct outbreak preparedness drills (amended to include this language on April 8, never granted a hearing)
- Senate Bill 1445: requires past employees to cooperate in investigations done by the Inspector General, which is necessary because the Director of the IL Department of Veterans Affairs at the time of the LaSalle COVID-19 outbreak refused to cooperate with the OIG investigation (amended to include this language on May 7, the bill still sits in the Senate Assignments Committee with no hearing scheduled).
Every veteran living in a state-run veterans’ home is a hero, and every one of them deserves the very best care we can offer.
Every one of them deserves to know they are safe and protected, so they can live comfortably and honorably.
Unfortunately, the State of Illinois failed them and failed their families.