Scathing Report Blasts Pritzker Administration for Fatal Mismanagement that Led to 36 Veteran Deaths at LaSalle Veterans’ Home

Scathing Report Blasts Pritzker Administration for Fatal Mismanagement that Led to 36 Veteran Deaths at LaSalle Veterans’ Home

Pritzker continues to refuse to take responsibility for his own fatal mismanagement of Veteran Affairs, leading to COVID-19 spreading rapidly through the LaSalle Veterans’ Home that took the lives of 36 Veterans.

May 3, 2021

Last Friday’s release of the acting inspector general of the Illinois Department of Human Services’ scathing report outlined systemic mismanagement throughout the top levels of Governor Pritzker’s Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs. The failure of Governor Pritzker and his administration led to 36 deaths at the LaSalle Veterans’ Home.

The factors that were outlined in the report were all “addressed” early on in the pandemic by Governor Pritzker, who assured the public his state agencies were acting on. On April 4, 2020, Governor Pritzker, along with Director Linda Chapa Lavia, outlined the protocols that the Department of Veterans Affairs was undertaking to ensure the safety of the state’s most vulnerable population at his daily COVID-19 briefing.

We now know none of the health protocols Governor Pritzker assured the public his agencies were doing were done.

In the 2018 campaign, J.B. Pritzker repeatedly slammed his opponent, saying Rauner was responsible for the failed actions of the state agency that lead to the tragic deaths of veterans at the Quincy Veterans’ Home. Pritzker went as far as to say, “This is what happens when a governor refuses to take charge and accept responsibility. This is what failure looks like.”

Fast forward to today, and Governor Pritzker continues to refuse to take responsibility for his own fatal mismanagement of Veteran Affairs, leading to COVID-19 spreading rapidly through the LaSalle Veterans’ Home that took the lives of 36 Veterans, a quarter of the population in that facility.

The systemic failures at all levels of Governor Pritzker’s Department of Veterans’ Affairs is astounding and is a direct reflection on Pritzker’s inability to lead this state,” said Kayleen Carlson, executive director of Illinois Rising Action. “For Governor Pritzker to have run on the very issue of accepting responsibility for the failed actions of state agencies and then to continue to refuse to accept responsibility over the failures that lead to the tragic deaths of a quarter of the residents at the LaSalle Veterans’ Home is ironic. Apparently the tragic events surrounding the LaSalle Veterans’ Home do not meet the threshold of ‘failure’ as previously described by then-candidate Pritzker in 2018.”

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