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Testimony: Quincy veterans’ home employees found out about Legionnaires’ outbreak from media reports

Wednesday, Feb 7, 2018

* Pritzker campaign…

Shocking testimony at a General Assembly investigatory hearing this morning revealed that Bruce Rauner left the staff at the Quincy Veterans’ home in the dark about the Legionnaires’ crisis, with those on the ground only learning of the outbreak from media reports.



“Staff on the frontlines of the Legionnaires’ crisis were operating entirely blind because of Bruce Rauner, relying on the media to learn about a deadly outbreak at their own workplace,” said Pritzker campaign spokeswoman Jordan Abudayyeh. “Rauner inexcusably failed to notify residents, families, and staff of a disease that took the lives of 13 of our nation’s heroes and spouses.”

I was stunned when I heard that testimony this morning.

Lots more troubling stuff was discussed during that hearing. More later.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

43 Comments »
  1. - @misterjayem - Wednesday, Feb 7, 18 @ 12:46 pm:

    “Rauner left the staff at the Quincy Veterans’ home in the dark about the Legionnaires’ crisis, with those on the ground only learning of the outbreak from media reports.”

    Luckily for him, Bruce Rauner wasn’t in charge.

    – MrJM


  2. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Feb 7, 18 @ 12:47 pm:

    Unbelievable.

    Who’s the legal authority that has jurisdiction here for negligence? Adams County SA? Sangamon County SA (home of executive branch).


  3. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Feb 7, 18 @ 12:47 pm:

    “….Left the staff at Quincy Veterans home in the dark about the Legionaires crisis..”. Not certain of the timeframe referred to here. Also since he spent a period of time living there, that obviously can’t be the time referred to. When did he first find out, and when did staff find out (thru various means). Thanks.


  4. - Retired Educator - Wednesday, Feb 7, 18 @ 12:48 pm:

    I see a lot of Law Suits in the near future for Illinois. It will be hard to defend “You knew, but you didn’t tell”


  5. - #UnionVoter - Wednesday, Feb 7, 18 @ 12:52 pm:

    Best team in America?


  6. - New in Town - Wednesday, Feb 7, 18 @ 12:54 pm:

    With how quick the media is there to report on issues nowadays, even “classified” info, this does not surprise me. This doesn’t necessary mean the wrong steps were taken either.


  7. - New in Town - Wednesday, Feb 7, 18 @ 12:55 pm:

    ^necessarily^


  8. - WhoKnew - Wednesday, Feb 7, 18 @ 12:56 pm:

    But, but…
    Pritzker is on tape talking to Blago!! /s


  9. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Feb 7, 18 @ 12:58 pm:

    –With how quick the media is there to report on issues nowadays, even “classified” info, this does not surprise me. This doesn’t necessary mean the wrong steps were taken either.–

    You can’t be serious, BTIA(TM).


  10. - DuPage Saint - Wednesday, Feb 7, 18 @ 1:00 pm:

    Then that must mean they did nothing to help residents or stop the outbreak till it became public


  11. - Huh? - Wednesday, Feb 7, 18 @ 1:15 pm:

    Any employee who got sick would have a monster workmens comp claim. Wow.


  12. - Cubs in '16 - Wednesday, Feb 7, 18 @ 1:19 pm:

    ‘Who are you gonna believe–me or AF-SCAMMY?’-Fake Rauner


  13. - Arsenal - Wednesday, Feb 7, 18 @ 1:35 pm:

    ==Who’s the legal authority that has jurisdiction here for negligence?==

    Hell, you don’t need a prosecutor to bring a civil negligence complaint, and I’d be shocked if no one brings one. I’m not sure we’ve got the goods from a criminal complaint yet, but someone sure should be looking.


  14. - Michelle Flaherty - Wednesday, Feb 7, 18 @ 1:36 pm:

    Those AFSCME workers took good care of Bruce when he was visitin’ the home.
    Is he gonna take care of them?


  15. - Jocko - Wednesday, Feb 7, 18 @ 1:37 pm:

    (From the NPR article) Melaney Arnold added that the state public health department “does not communicate directly with long-term care facility residents or staff about outbreaks.”

    So who does?


  16. - Anon221 - Wednesday, Feb 7, 18 @ 1:38 pm:

    Shah was more interested in showin’ off his lawyerin’ “skills” than actually doing his civil servant job and protecting the employees and the patients under his Agency’s care.


  17. - American Lesion - Wednesday, Feb 7, 18 @ 1:40 pm:

    =(From the NPR article) Melaney Arnold added that the state public health department “does not communicate directly with long-term care facility residents or staff about outbreaks.”

    So who does?=

    Apparently no one.


  18. - allknowingmasterofracoondom - Wednesday, Feb 7, 18 @ 1:43 pm:

    Not defending Rauner here, but trying to weed through some hyperbole. WCIA’s tweet states: In all 3 legionaries outbreaks they say they(AFSCME) and many staff members found out via media reports.

    So I have not heard the actual testimony for details but is the state supposed to notify each and every employee and union member? Or, did the state notify the appropriate staff who then is supposed to notify everyone else?

    Again, not defending here, just sick of hyperbole in every.single.discussion.


  19. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Feb 7, 18 @ 1:47 pm:

    ===So I have not heard the actual testimony for details but is the state supposed to notify each and every employee and union member? Or, did the state notify the appropriate staff who then is supposed to notify everyone else?===

    Hmm.

    “Because notification”

    I guess workplace safety isn’t your “thing”, let alone the dangers the residents faced?

    Yeah, go with that.


  20. - Anon221 - Wednesday, Feb 7, 18 @ 1:49 pm:

    Well… if IDPH and the Veterans Agency needs some help, OSHA has a template all ready for them.

    https://www.osha.gov/dts/osta/otm/legionnaires/sample_letter.html


  21. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Feb 7, 18 @ 1:53 pm:

    –I’m not sure we’ve got the goods from a criminal complaint yet, but someone sure should be looking.–

    That’s what I’m asking: who should be looking?

    The Republican AG in MI has indicted officials in the GOP guv’s office for manslaughter due to deaths from Legionairre’s disease in Flint.


  22. - Cubs in '16 - Wednesday, Feb 7, 18 @ 1:56 pm:

    ===The Republican AG in MI has indicted officials in the GOP guv’s office for manslaughter due to deaths from Legionairre’s disease in Flint.===

    Hmmm, might Lisa leave with a lovely parting gift for Bruce?


  23. - Precinct Captain - Wednesday, Feb 7, 18 @ 1:57 pm:

    Rauner lied and people died, simple as that.


  24. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Feb 7, 18 @ 2:02 pm:

    –Hmmm, might Lisa leave with a lovely parting gift for Bruce?–

    I believe the Illinois AG can only assist in criminal prosecutions that are initiated at the SA level. I’m sure someone out there knows for sure.


  25. - Chicago_Downstater - Wednesday, Feb 7, 18 @ 2:24 pm:

    I keep thinking every new piece of information on this is the worst it can get. Sadly I’ve come to the realization that this particular well of incompetence might not have a bottom.


  26. - Arsenal - Wednesday, Feb 7, 18 @ 2:47 pm:

    ==I believe the Illinois AG can only assist in criminal prosecutions that are initiated at the SA level.==

    You are correct. Your instinct that Adams County and Sangamon County would be good places to start is also right on.

    Unfortunately, neither SAO probably has the horses to investigate this.


  27. - Arsenal - Wednesday, Feb 7, 18 @ 2:51 pm:

    ==is the state supposed to notify each and every employee and union member? Or, did the state notify the appropriate staff who then is supposed to notify everyone else?==

    I’m not sure what the specific protocol here is. Perhaps there wasn’t one, which is its own problem. But I think senior management at the home could certainly have managed to send out a full-staff e-mail to brief everyone on the situation without much trouble. And while I wouldn’t expect Bruce Rauner to micromanage that process, I would say that the failure to hire senior management that could do that ultimately falls on the Rauner Administration.


  28. - Generic Drone - Wednesday, Feb 7, 18 @ 2:56 pm:

    Aaaannnnddd… it’s your serve Mr. Govna.


  29. - A guy - Wednesday, Feb 7, 18 @ 3:08 pm:

    It would seem to me the IL Dept. of Public Health would be responsible for tagging this building once the fact was established. Does the county this place is in have a Health Dept? If so, they might be on the front line as well.


  30. - a drop in - Wednesday, Feb 7, 18 @ 3:19 pm:

    ==is the state supposed to notify each and every employee ==

    It’s called an email to all. I get them from work all the time. And an email to patients and their families who have email information registered with the home. It would be the right thing to do.


  31. - Irma Gird - Wednesday, Feb 7, 18 @ 3:23 pm:

    …throughout the Capitol Complex…of more than 300 preliminary water test results, four have indicated a positive reading for the presence of Legionella bacteria.


  32. - Cubs in '16 - Wednesday, Feb 7, 18 @ 3:24 pm:

    ===Unfortunately, neither SAO probably has the horses to investigate this.===

    Arsenal, do you know if there is a process in place that would allow a county SA to request additional resources from L Madigan’s office or even the feds?


  33. - Skeptic - Wednesday, Feb 7, 18 @ 3:31 pm:

    “is the state supposed to notify each and every employee and union member?” They just sent out an email saying that 4 of 300 water sources in the Capitol Complex tested positive, so they are capable.


  34. - ArsenalI'm - Wednesday, Feb 7, 18 @ 3:37 pm:

    ==Arsenal, do you know if there is a process in place that would allow a county SA to request additional resources from L Madigan’s office or even the feds?==

    I can’t think of anything specific, but there are similar processes such as SpAAG whereby an agency attorney can be named an Assistant Attorney General for a specific process. There are also many ways that the AGO can provide resources to local law enforcement, both formally and informally. But the AGO’s limitations have been well litigated, so the edges of its power are fairly sharp.


  35. - Arsenal - Wednesday, Feb 7, 18 @ 3:41 pm:

    ==Does the county this place is in have a Health Dept?==

    It does indeed. IDPH probably has primary responsibility for a state facility, but ideally the two agencies work well together anyway. Adams County ain’t Cook; I suspect the Veterans Home was a major object on its radar.


  36. - Cubs in '16 - Wednesday, Feb 7, 18 @ 3:48 pm:

    @Arsenal

    Thank you.


  37. - allknowingmasterofracoondom - Wednesday, Feb 7, 18 @ 3:54 pm:

    OW - if you don’t have an answer to my open and honest question, you can just say you don’t have an answer instead of -

    “Because notification”

    I guess workplace safety isn’t your “thing”, let alone the dangers the residents faced?

    Yeah, go with that.

    You either don’t understand my question, or just cant help your Rauner hating self.


  38. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Feb 7, 18 @ 4:02 pm:

    Let’s revisit your ridiculous question…

    ===So I have not heard the actual testimony for details but is the state supposed to notify each and every employee and union member? Or, did the state notify the appropriate staff who then is supposed to notify everyone else?===

    Your “concern” is that someone who knew, possibly a Rauner Administration official should be absolved because they are not required to hit “send all” an email detailing the medical emergency at Quincy?

    That’s it?

    “Well, they’re not required… “

    Think on the silly that your question is…

    “Seems like something we shouldn’t share with everyone who could be effected… because our notification only requires… “

    Are you Lumbergh…

    “Right… did you get the memo… if you could forward it, that would be great… mkay… “


  39. - Demoralized - Wednesday, Feb 7, 18 @ 4:26 pm:

    ==but is the state supposed to notify each and every employee and union member? Or, did the state notify the appropriate staff who then is supposed to notify everyone else?==

    Well, since these individuals work for “the state” then the answer to your question is yes, “the state” should have notified them.

    It wouldn’t have been that hard to send a mass e-mail and/or hold a staff meeting.


  40. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Feb 7, 18 @ 4:50 pm:

    We’re talking six days here that IDPH knew there was an outbreak and did not share that information with Quincy home employees, residents or families.

    Without that information, I’m sure employees and residents did not change their water usage habits.

    Am I right to assume there’s some VA, Medicare or Medicaid money in play here? If so, I think the federales might want to put their shoulder to this one, for the health and safety of all involved.

    Shah and Rauner seem to be a little concerned about a “panic” if the truth is shared and individuals can use that information to make the right choices for their own safety.

    https://capitolfax.com/2018/01/05/quincy-veterans-home-news-roundup/


  41. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Feb 7, 18 @ 5:31 pm:

    How about this…

    ===So I have not heard the actual testimony for details but is the state supposed to notify each and every employee and union member? Or, did the state notify the appropriate staff who then is supposed to notify everyone else?===

    You see a fire…

    You notify just the appropriate chain of command and leadership to tell everyone else in order, or do you just warn everyone there’s a fire?

    “No, no… protocol says tell the appropriate people there’s a fire that could hurt them, they can tell who they are responsible for after”

    Like I said.

    Silly.


  42. - allknowingmasterofracoondom - Wednesday, Feb 7, 18 @ 6:31 pm:

    Ok OW, I agree with everything you just wrote, and appreciate your answer. I asked because the report/post is the media (WCIU) quoting “Union Heads”, and said “In all 3 legionaries outbreaks they say they and many staff members found out via media reports. ”

    There is obviously enough bad about this situation. Since I have not heard the testimony, I am asking about it here, to see how much of this statement is hyperbole.

    To get snarky I could say “Which union heads? Who wasn’t notified? All staff? Supervisors? Are union heads always notified of these issues directly by the gov? ect ect ect.


  43. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Feb 7, 18 @ 6:36 pm:

    ===I agree with everything you just wrote===

    I’ll sleep better tonight.

    ===To get snarky I could say “Which union heads? Who wasn’t notified? All staff? Supervisors? Are union heads always notified of these issues directly by the gov? ect ect ect.===

    … or you could be angered that, again, the Administration, for all practical purposes, saw a fire and just thought waiting days to tell everyone there was a fire was doing everything possible.

    See, no snark.

    There were 13 deaths.


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