New Bombshell AP Report Raises More Questions About Rauner’s Quincy Response
Video: Rauner Claims “Everything Possible That Any Expert Has Recommended We’ve Done”
Today, a legislative committee will meet again to discuss Governor Bruce Rauner’s response to the Legionnaires’ outbreak at the Quincy Veterans’ Home. Sure to be on the agenda is a bombshell report from the Associated Press that engineers told Rauner’s administration it could replace the piping for $8 million dollars, far below the $30 million quoted today. The engineers suggested their plan “should be carefully considered.”
The date? August 2016, just days after Rauner infamously told reporters his team was “really on top of the situation.”
On Friday, Rauner sat before the Northwest Herald’s editorial board and claimed that “everything possible that any expert has recommended we’ve done.” Rauner continued (video here):
“I’ve said to my team, let’s go beyond what any expert has ever said. Let’s just say everything should be on the table. And I’ve said, and maybe we gotta build a completely new facility, a completely new pluming system. And a completely new water source.
The Associated Press story came out just hours later.
“It’s becoming clear why Bruce Rauner does not want to answer questions about his botched response to a Legionnaires’ outbreak at a state-run veteran’s home,” DGA Illinois Communications Director Sam Salustro. “Rauner’s team allegedly sat on a pipe-replacement recommendation for 18 months while more Quincy home residents got sick. Thirteen people have died, but Rauner’s administration has decided to hamper inquires and question workers’ testimonies rather than fess up to their mistakes.”
(Video available here)
Rauner: “Yeah, so we should talk about Quincy. It is heartbreaking and frustrating to see our veterans at risk for this bacteria. We took strong, aggressive action as soon as veterans became ill. We immediately brought in national experts. We immediately took every action that the experts have recommended. And we’ve continued to take strong action. Everything possible that any expert has recommended we’ve done. Unfortunately, what we found is Legionella is still at the home. And what the national experts at CDC have said to us is, the reality is Legionella bacteria is in Quincy. It’s in many water systems in the state of Illinois, unfortunately we’re finding that it’s in water systems throughout America.
“They said we can probably never completely eliminate it. But we’ve got to do everything possibly we can to try to eliminate the risk. So, we’ve taken strong action, new filters, new water treatment, new flushing procedures. And every year we’ve done more and more, exactly what the experts say.
“We brought the CDC, the Center for Disease Control, the federal government experts, back in. They’re in Quincy right now. We’ve brought them back in there this week to see if there’s anything else we’ve missed, any possible, we wanna leave no stone unturned. They’re there working with us. If they come up with new ideas, we’ll do it. I’ve said to our team, let’s go beyond what any expert has ever said. Let’s just say everything should be on the table. And I’ve said, and maybe we gotta build a completely new facility, a completely new plumbing system. And look at a completely new water source. The Quincy Veterans’ Home in Quincy gets their water from the Mississippi River, we know, and we’re measuring now that the Mississippi River gets legionella bacteria. Surface water tends to get more as it warms up, its warmer than ground water, so maybe we go to the ground water. We’re gonna leave no stone unturned. We will always be aggressive. And we’ve taken strong action and will continue.”