March 7, 2018

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Illinois, Latest News

Two Months after Rauner’s Quincy Stay, Administration Contradicting Itself on Plans

Two months ago, Governor Bruce Rauner emerged from the Quincy Veterans’ Home and promised action to solve the constant Legionnaires’ outbreaks, including the replacement of plumbing at the home. How’s progress? Well, Rauner and his administration spent the past two days contradicting themselves on what they arethinking about doing.

Rauner’s Director of Veterans’ Affairs told a legislative committee Monday that the state planned on rebuilding some dorms over five years and rejected Rauner’s original idea of replacing piping, saying it would “would just not be worth the effort.” By that afternoon, Rauner’s spokesperson contradicted the Director and said that replacing plumbing was still on the table.

Appearing before reporters yesterday, Rauner said the administration was still considering everything and even talked about moving residents out of the home, even though he seemed to reject the idea in the same sentence (watch here):

Rauner: “So now we’re going to look beyond that. We may look at completely replacing some of the homes there, completely replacing entire plumbing systems, we’re going to leave no stone unturned. We’re going to do whatever it takes. […]

Quincy: “Are you leaning towards either plumbing or resident replacement at this point?”

Rauner: “Well, all those are on the table. We’ve even continued to consider whether we just move veterans into a completely different place. The challenge with that is that they’re very vulnerable, They’re very frail. Very elderly. And this is their home. This is like a family for them. So, you can’t just rip people out of their home and put them in a completely different place. The health risk of doing that is very substantial. The risk of falling. The risk of being disoriented, of being disrupted in their rhythms of their life. So, no health experts have said you should just move everyone out of there like some have claimed. So, we’re going to study it. We’re going to keep working. And we’re gonna do whatever it takes.”

Two months later, and Rauner’s administration is not on the same page.

“After botching the response to the Quincy outbreak, it is no surprise that Bruce Rauner’s administration is not even on the same page when it comes to developing a plan,” said DGA Illinois Communications Director Sam Salustro. “Rauner has claimed time and time again that his team is on top of the situation at Quincy, but their actions speak louder than words.”