Does Rauner Believe His Administration Did Anything Wrong at Quincy?
Rauner and His Team Have Refused to Take Responsibility for Outbreak Response at Quincy Veterans’ Home
Today, Governor Bruce Rauner ends his weeklong stay at the Quincy Veterans’ Home following deeply troubling reports about the state’s response to 2015 Legionnaires’ outbreak there. Rauner said he was getting a “more thorough understanding” of the problem after three years of outbreaks have killed 13. Yet, Rauner did not stay at the home in 2015 after an outbreak killed 12, and in 2016 he only appeared at the home to declare his administration was “really on top of the situation.”
Instead, Rauner was defiant upon entering the home. In an interview with the Herald-News just before he checked-in, Rauner partially blamed the deaths on the residents’ age:
“With our veterans, many of them are in their late 80s and 90s (and are) vulnerable to getting sick. They don’t have a strong immune system. So the reality is that there’s some risk but in all facilities there’s risk.”
Department of Veterans’ Affairs Director Erica Jeffries echoed Rauner’s words before a legislative hearing yesterday: “Part of what was reported in the news was that these people were pictures of health and that’s just not so.” Jeffries and Department of Public Health Director Nirav Shah were asked if they would have done anything different in “hindsight.” Jeffries said she “wouldn’t do anything different” and Shah said, “I stand by our response.”
They’re just following Rauner’s lead.
“Bruce Rauner has a hard time accepting responsibility for his administration’s failures,” said DGA Illinois Communications Director Sam Salustro. “And 13 deaths at a veterans’ home has not changed that attitude. Instead, Rauner and his administration have consistently sought to deflect blame and refused to admit anything was done wrong during this whole scandal.”