* Mark Maxwell…
Governor Bruce Rauner’s administration is pushing back forcefully against what it considers misconceptions and misunderstandings around a fatal 2015 outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease at a veterans home in Quincy. […]
A 35-page report crafted by Rauner’s staff sets out to “correct those inaccuracies” with a detailed timeline of events explaining specific steps they took to remedy what the report calls a tragic, unprecedented outbreak. WCIA obtained a copy of the report that was sent to each of the four top legislative leaders last week.
In it, the administration details a specific timeline of events which seeks to exonerate the agency heads who have come under fire at committee hearings. The report claims the Illinois Department of Public Health responded with specific instructions within 27 minutes after learning of a second confirmed case. The report also claims the staff at the veterans home began implementing IDPH’s instructions, including informing families, within 15 hours of learning of a second case of Legionnaires.
The report also seeks to correct a series of accusations made in a House Resolution, including one claim which said the administration had not made this outbreak a top priority, and it says former governors and the General Assembly share in the blame for ignoring requests for maintenance upgrades and allowing the facility to fall into disrepair.
During a Capitol Connection interview, Rauner’s new project manager at the veterans home Mike Hoffman set out to correct what he called a “false narrative.” Hoffman said this new report will show the Rauner administration took swift action during a chaotic situation. He says the administration has documentation to verify each claim made in the report.
The report is here.
* Pritzker campaign…
Bruce Rauner’s administration is continuing to defend his fatal mismanagement of the Quincy Veterans’ Home while stonewalling legislators investigating the Legionnaires’ crisis.
In a 35-page report made public yesterday, the Rauner administration sought to correct “misconceptions around perceived notification delays,” but failed to address the “mind-boggling…inexcusable” six days it waited to publicize the Legionnaires’ outbreak. The administration tried and failed to downplay the delay, noting one IDPH official described the situation as a “possible outbreak” even though they later noted it as “the beginning of an epidemic.”
“While Bruce Rauner refuses to release the emails documenting his fatal mismanagement of the Quincy Veterans’ Home, his administration is on defense,” said Pritzker campaign spokeswoman Jordan Abudayyeh. “This failed governor pays lip service to transparency while covering up evidence of administration-wide failures to get Veterans the care they deserve.”
Over the weekend, Governor Bruce Rauner’s administration released a new report which “push[es] back forcefully” against “misconceptions” about their response to Legionnaires’ outbreaks at the state-run Quincy Veterans’ Home. The report falls right in line with Rauner’s attitude that they “would not do anything different” in the aftermath of 13 deaths and years of continued outbreaks.
Rauner’s week-long stay following the release of a WBEZ investigative report was spun as “gain[ing] a more thorough understanding” about the home and his administration quietly appointed an official to oversee the response three years after the first outbreak. His team has attacked reporters’ integrity, accused workers at the home of lying, hampered a legislative inquiry, and over-redacted emails to lawmakers. Even now, his administration began blaming prior administrations for the conditions at Quincy.
“Bruce Rauner is simply unable to admit failure or take responsibility for any mismanagement under his utter lack of leadership,” said DGA Illinois Communications Director Sam Salustro. “13 people died due to three years of Legionnaires’ outbreaks at a state-run facility and Bruce Rauner is still more concerned with spinning the news than finding solutions.”