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Pritzker Administration Failures Lead to 36 Deaths at LaSalle Veterans’ Home

An IG report was released to the public detailing massive failures throughout the Pritzker administration and the Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs that led to the preventable deaths of 36 veterans at the state-run LaSalle Veterans’ Home.

News reports painted the horrific picture:


WBEZ – ‘Nobody Seemed To Know What To Do’: Blistering Report Outlines Illinois’ Failure To Protect Vets From Deadly COVID Outbreak: “An internal watchdog report blamed “inadequate leadership” in Gov. JB Pritzker’s administration, including a former agency director who “abdicated” her duties, for a COVID-19 outbreak last fall at the state-run LaSalle Veterans’ Home that killed dozens of residents.”

CHICAGO TRIBUNE – Watchdog report details large-scale mismanagement of COVID-19 outbreak at LaSalle VA home where 36 veterans died: “It cites a lack of planning, training and communications at the home that resulted in the failure of contact tracing among COVID-19-positive employees, improper use of protective gear and a screening desk that was “frequently left vacated.””

CHICAGO SUN-TIMES – Response to coronavirus outbreak ‘inefficient and chaotic’ at LaSalle Veterans’ Home where 36 died, report finds: “Among Prince’s other initiatives are plans to develop clear, statewide policies applicable to each home; restructuring senior leadership with chain-of-command clarity and assurances that the homes are receiving proper clinical and administrative direction…”

RICH MILLER – Cleaning up LaSalle mess a vital task: “36 veterans died during the LaSalle catastrophe last year, a quarter of the facility’s population. Frankly, after reading the report, I was surprised more people didn’t die. It’s that bad.

The trouble started with Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s hasty appointment of a state legislator to fill the IDVA director job after his initial appointee abruptly dropped out – a mystery that he has not explained to this day.”

“The Governor ran for office in 2018 blaming his predecessor for the Legionnaires outbreak at the Quincy Veterans’ Home that tragically took the life of 14 American heroes. Pritzker said the incident revealed a callous regard for human life and a fatal lack of leadership,” reminded ILGOP spokesman Joe Hackler. “36 dead veterans later at LaSalle and the Governor is on record as now saying ‘these things can happen’ and has refused to take full responsibility for this tragedy on his watch. The IG report makes clear that candidate Pritzker in 2018 would think Governor Pritzker’s administration is fatally incompetent and responsible for the deaths of 36 American heroes.”