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Rauner’s Unanswered Questions About His Handling of Quincy Home Outbreak

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Rauner Should Use Stunt as Opportunity to Address Hard Questions about Admin’s Botched Response

Last night, Governor Bruce Rauner checked into the Quincy Veterans’ Home in an attempt to quiet growing questions about his administration’s botched response to Legionnaires’ outbreaks there. In three years, 13 veterans’ home residents have died from the disease and two WBEZ reports have called into question how Rauner’s administration responded to the first outbreak in 2015. 

While Rauner stays in Quincy, perhaps he can answer these questions:

  • Why did the Rauner administration wait six days before telling the public or families of residents about the outbreak, which one infectious disease expert called “mind-boggling”?
  • When did Governor Rauner learn of the outbreak? What did he talk about with IDVA Director Erica Jeffries when they attended an event together during the middle of the outbreak?
  • Why were some sick residents, who later died, not getting tested or treated for Legionnaires’ disease even though your administration confirmed the outbreak to the CDC?
  • Why did Rauner say in 2016 that his administration was “really on top of the situation” if he is just now getting a “more thorough understanding” of the problem?
  • At least one family claims that Rauner’s administration never tried contacting them after the death of their father. Why has Rauner not reached out to the families of the deceased?
  • Has anyone in the administration been held accountable for the outbreak response?

In an editorial board meeting yesterday, Rauner deflected blame for the 13 deaths by pointing out the veterans’ home residents had weak immune systems, claiming “rave reviews” for his response, and arguing that “these things happen.” 

“Bruce Rauner’s stunt does not hide the fact that he has not addressed hard questions about his administration’s botched response to the Legionnaires’ outbreak,” said DGA Illinois Communications Director Sam Salustro. “Thirteen families lost loved ones and deserve to know what happened. They need more than what Governor Rauner is offering.”