* The Better Government Association and Politifact Illinois take a look at Gov. Rauner’s attempt to blame the media for misreporting the dangers at the Quincy veterans’ home…
Rauner insists his administration did not drop the ball, and recently spent seven days living at the home to make a public show that it was safe.
He also took aim at the media for casting blame his way without telling the whole story.
In an interview with the editorial board of the Joliet Herald-News, Rauner said news reports failed to explain that the source of the disease is basically everywhere.
“The reality is, and this is what’s not getting into the reports, the Legionella bacteria is in most water systems in Illinois,” Rauner told the paper. “There were just two infections of Legionnaires at Northwestern Hospital, which is not even an old facility and I think is regarded as a really well-run facility. These things happen.”
The governor’s statement glosses over the reality that any such contamination is likely present at low and non-threatening levels. The use of the word “most” is also questionable since there’s no real quantifiable evidence. The CDC avoids quantifying the presence of the bacteria, which thrives on slime in poorly maintained internal water systems.
The governor has a point that the bacteria lurks in a number of water systems. But his statement makes an unprovable claim about the extent of the contamination.
The governor’s claim is overbroad and lacking in context. We rate it Half True.