Arlington, Va. – A Department of Veterans Affairs internal document was leaked to USA Today on Monday, containing the agency’s response to a review of the Phoenix VA Health Care System by the Office of the Inspector General that is to be released on Wednesday. The drafted statement claims that the VA has made progress in addressing the systemic problems that led to the death of dozens of veterans who were waiting for care at the area’s facilities.
“Provided these reports are correct, there seems to be no limit to how low this administration and VA will stoop to deflect blame for a scandal,” said Pete Hegseth, CEO of Concerned Veterans for America. “Attempting to whitewash the deaths of scores of veterans by leaking a politically tainted ‘analysis’ two days ahead of the inspector general’s long-awaited report on the VA scandal is yet another low. This should serve as a wake-up call for anyone who thought VA leaders—worried about protecting their own jobs—would put veterans’ care ahead of the culpability of their employees. Congress just granted Secretary McDonald greater authority to promptly fire bad VA employees in the new VA reform law. If he truly wants to regain the trust of America’s veterans—and provided these reports are true—McDonald should start with those in his communications shop who thought they could sweep this national outrage under the rug.”
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