For Weeks, VA Told Public And Veterans That Agency Didn’t Face Shortages And Wasn’t Rationing Equipment
“It’s easy to be wise after the event,” VA Secretary Robert Wilkie said in defense of the agency's slow acknowledgment that it was facing shortages.
The Wall Street Journal:
VA Didn’t Publicly Acknowledge Shortages, Top Officials Say
The Department of Veterans Affairs was slow to publicly disclose the extent of mask shortages the department faced, as it dealt with an onslaught of coronavirus cases, top VA officials said this week. Secretary Robert Wilkie and the department’s official in charge of hospitals said the U.S. medical system has been inundated with Covid-19 cases since March, straining resources at the VA and all health systems nationwide. And yet, for weeks the VA told the public, employees and veterans that the department faced no problems and wasn’t rationing equipment. (Kesling, 4/22)
The Associated Press:
VA Medical Facilities Struggle To Cope With Coronavirus
As she treated patient after patient infected with the coronavirus at a Veterans Affairs medical center in New York City, Heather Espinal saw stark warning signs. So many nurses had called in sick, she said, that the Bronx facility was woefully understaffed. It lacked specially equipped rooms for infected patients, she said, and didn’t have enough masks, gloves and other protective gear to guard against the spread of the highly contagious disease. (Casey and Yen, 4/23)