Ives calls report on deaths at veterans home 'sickening'
State Rep. Jeanne Ives (R-Wheaton) is speaking out in the wake of a WBEZ report, "Surviving the War, But Not the Veterans Home," that uncovered that at least 13 residents of a west central Illinois veterans home have died from Legionnaires’ disease over the last two years.
“This report is sickening,” Ives, a West Point grad who recently launched her 2018 Republican primary campaign against Gov. Bruce Rauner, said in a press release. “As a veteran, and the daughter and granddaughter of soldiers, it goes without saying that I understand the depth and significance of the sacrifice our men and women in uniform make. Today, my thoughts are with the families of the 13 people who died in the Illinois veterans home.”
WBEZ reported that 11 of the families of the victims have now filed suit against the state for negligence, and Ives at least partly points a finger of blame at Rauner.
“Under Gov. Rauner, state services have declined to a such degree that the maintenance of clean facilities to prevent outbreaks of bacterial maladies, like Legionnaires', has become grossly inadequate,” she said in the release. “In November, Rauner said at Hines VA Hospital, ‘One way we can support our veterans – keep a quality of life and achieve the American dream for themselves and their families – is to have high-quality health care services.’ Yet another betrayal at the hand of Benedict Rauner.”
Ives added the episode serves as yet another example of how Rauner has been derelict in his duties as the state’s highest elected public office holder.
“Managing state agencies is one of the critical jobs of the executive office,” she said. “Bruce Rauner promised to turn Illinois around. But on his watch, state services have deteriorated. If he can’t manage a 200-acre veterans home with 250 residents, how can he manage the state? Gov. Rauner isn’t in charge because he never took charge. And 13 veterans, or spouses of veterans, are now dead because of it.”