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Stop lying about Quincy, Gov. Rauner

Thursday, Oct 11, 2018

* Gov. Rauner told reporters this at a Quincy press conference today about the veterans home

To be clear, there was absolutely no delay in doing what was critical, and that is keeping the veterans safe, treating them, evaluating the health of every veteran, every staff member, communicating with the vets and the staff and to any of their families to report any veteran who was showing any symptoms. That’s what was done. That was done day one.

* Let’s start with a family member

“That’s what makes me sick. Do they think we’re all stupid? Here they are, not telling us for six days, and our family members are in there. We could’ve had a choice, people. We could have took our fathers and others out. We could have gotten them other help, and they have the audacity not to tell us for six days?”

* Staff

Gov. Bruce Rauner’s own administration formally rebuked the state agency overseeing the Quincy veterans’ home for how it told staffers about the fatal Legionnaires’ disease outbreak after workers there got sick in 2015. […]

But the Aug. 22, 2015 mass email to Quincy workers — which Jeffries has pointed to as proof the home’s workforce was informed early about the outbreak — downplayed the severity of the epidemic and failed to alert staff that two Legionnaires’ cases had already been confirmed by that time.

The email, sent by an infectious disease nursing supervisor to nearly 140 staff members, emphasized with all capital letters that there had been “an UNCONFIRMED diagnosis” of Legionnaires’. The correspondence admonished workers not to talk about the case with residents because “the last thing we need is for the residents to get worried and upset.” […]

In fact, 19 hours before that first message went out to Quincy workers, top state health officials already knew that a 90-year-old man and an 89-year-old woman had tested positive for Legionnaires’ disease, according to another email circulated to Public Health Director Nirav Shah and the former administrator of the Illinois Veterans Home. Shah would later acknowledge that by Aug. 21, 2015 — the day before the first note went out to Quincy’s front-line staff — the state knew it was dealing with “the beginning of an epidemic.”

* To the timeline…

July 24: Earliest known case of Legionnaires’ disease at the Illinois Veterans’ Home in Quincy, according to a report issued later by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

August 21: Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs Director Erica Jeffries later claims that on this date, her department “shut down the water, we removed aerators from all the showers, we shut down our fountains, we started issuing bottled water” because of the outbreak.

August 21: Public Health Director Nirav Shah acknowledges later that on this day the state knew it was dealing with “the beginning of an epidemic.”

August 21: Illinois Veterans’ Home resident Melvin Tucker develops a fever. He is given Tylenol.

August 22: (E)mail, sent by an infectious disease nursing supervisor to nearly 140 staff members, emphasized with all capital letters that there had been “an UNCONFIRMED diagnosis” of Legionnaires’. The correspondence admonished workers not to talk about the case with residents because “the last thing we need is for the residents to get worried and upset.”

August 23: Illinois Department of Public Health notifies CDC of “five laboratory-confirmed cases of Legionnaires’ disease among residents and staff.”

August 24: Adams County Health Department Director of Clinical and Environmental Services Shay Drummond claims this is the date when “environmental control and mediation” actually starts

August 24: In an email, a state Veterans’ Affairs spokesman alerted the governor’s press staff about the Legionnaires’ test results, saying, “We have a situation at the Quincy home.” The spokesman went on to say he did not intend to publicize details of the test results that day unless “directed or in the case of wide media interest.”

August 25: Rauner does media event with Veterans’ Affairs Director Erica Jeffries at Springfield airport. No public mention of Quincy.

Aug. 25: Rauner’s press secretary at the time, Lindsay Walters, directed press aides in the Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs and Illinois Department of Public Health not to issue a public statement about the growing Legionnaires’ threat at the home, documents show. “I do not think we need to issue a statement to the media. Let’s hold and see if we receive any reporter inquiries,” she said.

Aug. 26: There are now 28 Legionnaires’ disease onsets, the CDC reports later.

August 26: Three days after CDC was first notified of the Legionnaires’ disease outbreak, and 2-4 days after remediation efforts began, Gerald Kuhn, 90, is given Tylenol for a fever that reaches 104 degrees. Kuhn asks to go to the hospital and tests positive there for Legionella.

The veterans’ home didn’t test Gerald Kuhn. He had to ask to go to the hospital to be tested. So much for “evaluating the health” of all the veterans.

* More…

August 26: Last day Dolores French is seen alive. Her military veteran husband lives in another section of the complex.

August 27: “The Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs (IDVA) and the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) today announced eight confirmed cases of Legionnaires’ disease in residents at the Illinois Veterans’ Home - Quincy. There have been no known deaths related to this outbreak.”

August 27: After six days with a fever, Melvin Tucker is still not on any kind of antibiotic and hasn’t yet been tested for Legionnaires’, despite the CDC being notified four days earlier of an outbreak and the state announcing eight confirmed cases that same day.

So, Mr. Tucker still wasn’t on any medication six days into the breakout even though he was showing clear signs of danger. He wasn’t being protected. He was being ignored.

* Back to the timeline for the disheartening conclusion…

August 28: “Two residents of an Illinois veterans home have died of Legionnaires’ disease, the Illinois Department of Public Health said Friday…. [both] had underlying medical conditions. Both were among 23 residents of the facility who had earlier been diagnosed with the disease.”

August 29: Dolores French is found dead and her body was decomposed. Her only underlying medical condition was deafness.

August 30: IDPH formally requests Epidemiologic Assistance (Epi-Aid) from the CDC.

August 31: Melvin Tucker and Gerald Kuhn die, bringing the death total to four.

August 31: Three CDC Epidemic Intelligence Service Officers and one environmental health specialist arrive at the veterans’ home.

September 1: “The Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs (IDVA) and the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) today announced the deaths of a total of seven residents at the Illinois Veterans’ Home-Quincy. The seven residents, all of whom had underlying medical conditions, were among the 39 individuals who had been diagnosed with Legionnaires’ disease to date.” [Dolores French’s only underlying medical condition was deafness.]

September 1: E-mail to Illinois Department of Public Health Director Nirav Shah: I received a voice message from Ann Irving with AFSCME asking about the remediation plan at Quincy vets home. She would like to know at what point we can say the systems that present the greatest risk of spreading Legionella bacteria have been cleaned. When can we say that any additional cases are due to the 2 week incubation period and not due to current exposure?

September 2: E-mail from IDPH spokesperson to administrative group: Can you help me? Let them know I’m not the one who should be responding. I fight enough with the media. I don’t went to fight with the union too.

September 2: E-mail from Director Nirav Shah: I think we should refer them to the Gov Office. There are several other sensitivities here. Or as Craig suggests, to DOL. I agree that weighing in here is not our job.

September 9: Adams County health officials report 2 more deaths.

September 14: Another resident dies, bringing the death toll to 12 out of 54 who have by now contracted the disease.

No matter how many times I read that timeline, my blood still boils. And the constant lies just make it worse.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

45 Comments »
  1. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Oct 11, 18 @ 4:09 pm:

    I’m sure the Pritzker Crew will look at this.

    There’s already one ad out there… maybe another after today… we’ll find out.

    Rauner has rarely been honest for 5 years.

    Like “a winged unicorn flying around gumdrop mountains” rare…

    The Trib Edit Board, bought GA Raunerites, phony newspapers and swamping ads… all enabled Bruce and Diana Rauner and their utter phony personas and factless truths to be heard louder than what is real.

    Rauner will lie, Rauner will continue to be enabled, and those like Rich Miller and other media reporters will face a phony narrative that others will pretend is true.


  2. - don the legend - Thursday, Oct 11, 18 @ 4:11 pm:

    JB should have a poster board with each deceased Quincy veteran’s name on it and hold it up and read each name when he gets asked to respond to Rauner’s lie.


  3. - union proud - Thursday, Oct 11, 18 @ 4:12 pm:

    “Well our team has done, by and large, an excellent job. People aren’t perfect. Occasionally some things stumble here or there,” says Rauner


  4. - Huh? - Thursday, Oct 11, 18 @ 4:14 pm:

    “Governor Rauner is going to speak the truth”

    Well, that didn’t last very long.


  5. - Cubs in '16 - Thursday, Oct 11, 18 @ 4:18 pm:

    Rauner has no honor. I’d like to believe he’ll come clean after losing the election, when it’s safe to do so. I like to believe that…but I don’t.


  6. - @misterjayem - Thursday, Oct 11, 18 @ 4:20 pm:

    Why stop with lying about the timeline?

    Bruce should go big and deny that anyone even got sick at Quincy.

    – MrJM


  7. - Demoralized - Thursday, Oct 11, 18 @ 4:26 pm:

    He’s not responsible for anything. Quincy is no exception.


  8. - Anonymous - Thursday, Oct 11, 18 @ 4:28 pm:

    ==I agree that weighing in here is not our job.==

    Then what is Nirav..other than cashing a check?


  9. - McLincoln - Thursday, Oct 11, 18 @ 4:29 pm:

    “when it’s safe to do so”

    -There is never a safe time to admit to gross negligence.


  10. - Honeybear - Thursday, Oct 11, 18 @ 4:32 pm:

    As a veteran I totally get how stuff gets confused, mistakes get made and the situation goes real bad in a New York minute.
    I also get that as a state worker.
    Man sometimes you just have no idea what to do.
    But is unforgivable
    And I think criminal
    Is Aug 25Th order by Lindsey Walters
    That enrages me
    And now she works for Trump
    As a Deputy Press Secretary
    And Rauner won’t
    Apologize or take responsibility
    For any of it.


  11. - Honeybear - Thursday, Oct 11, 18 @ 4:33 pm:

    Hubris is deadly


  12. - wordslinger - Thursday, Oct 11, 18 @ 4:43 pm:

    –That was done day one.–

    No shame.

    And he thinks we’re all stupid.


  13. - Cubs in '16 - Thursday, Oct 11, 18 @ 4:44 pm:

    @McLincoln

    I meant safe in a political sense but point taken.


  14. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Oct 11, 18 @ 4:45 pm:

    ===No shame.

    And he thinks we’re all stupid.===

    It’s been a slow process, but it has caught up to him.


  15. - James - Thursday, Oct 11, 18 @ 4:46 pm:

    Well paid campaign staffers are pacing around the war room in desperation mode, frantically interrupting each other about Diana’s latest ideas on how to spin the Quincy timeline. Rauner’s voice constantly booming “No, No”. Recriminations against Shah, Jeffries, Senger and press aides abound. Everyone is well paid and counting the days until this madness thankfully ends.


  16. - Annonin' - Thursday, Oct 11, 18 @ 4:52 pm:

    Thank goodness this has become the signature of the failure of failures for GovJunk. He will never be truthful because of potential liability. Someone told stafferes to delay and coverup. That should come out too. Very cruel spectacle unleashed by the GovJunk posse


  17. - Anon E Moose - Thursday, Oct 11, 18 @ 4:53 pm:

    “The timeline for this is fluid. (pun intended for my own laugh)” They have no soul.


  18. - Anon0091 - Thursday, Oct 11, 18 @ 4:53 pm:

    Senger thinks Rauner abandoned her because of her role in Quincy. Rauner has one person he needs to blame for Quincy. Bruce Rauner.


  19. - don the legend - Thursday, Oct 11, 18 @ 4:55 pm:

    Hey LP come join in this thread. Bruce needs some serious defending.


  20. - Been There - Thursday, Oct 11, 18 @ 4:56 pm:

    ===And the constant lies just make it worse.===
    Even with all of Rauners other flaws this alone should be enough for anyone, Repubs independents dems to not vote for this guy. The buck stops with him anyway as governor but just taking responsibility you could at least still respect him.


  21. - Anonymous - Thursday, Oct 11, 18 @ 4:56 pm:

    Director Shah was too busy denying conditions eligible for medical marijuana to pay attention to the vets.


  22. - Henry Francis - Thursday, Oct 11, 18 @ 5:00 pm:

    Fish got to swim, birds got to fly.


  23. - Wensicia - Thursday, Oct 11, 18 @ 5:03 pm:

    I think Rauner believes his lies make it truth, like someone else we know. Just deny, deny, deny.


  24. - Huh? - Thursday, Oct 11, 18 @ 5:05 pm:

    “Director Shah was too busy denying conditions eligible for medical marijuana to pay attention to the vets”

    But in 2015 handling the Quincy mess was shah’s greatest achievement.


  25. - wordslinger - Thursday, Oct 11, 18 @ 5:18 pm:

    –Senger thinks Rauner abandoned her because of her role in Quincy.–

    Well, if you have your hand out for money, maybe you shouldn’t call The Money Man the “lesser of two evils.”

    I mean, the dude gave her fat, do-nothing patronage job and she went there.

    https://capitolfax.com/2018/08/16/senger-agrees-rauner-is-lesser-of-two-evils/


  26. - Ole' Nelson - Thursday, Oct 11, 18 @ 5:20 pm:

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Scorpion_and_the_Frog

    Like my favorite fable about the Scorpion and the Frog, Bruce lies because it is in his nature to do so. He can’t help it anymore than the Scorpion can resist killing the frog that is helping him in the tale. It is who he is as a person.


  27. - illini - Thursday, Oct 11, 18 @ 5:24 pm:

    —”No matter how many times I read that timeline, my blood still boils. And the constant lies just make it worse.”—

    None of us could say it any better. Are others listening and reading? And do they care?


  28. - striketoo - Thursday, Oct 11, 18 @ 5:30 pm:

    Put these vets in certified nursing homes and get the incompetent state workers out of this critical business.


  29. - A Jack - Thursday, Oct 11, 18 @ 5:34 pm:

    From the AP story about the limo accident.

    “Under New York law, criminally negligent homicide involves not perceiving a substantial, unjustifiable risk that leads to someone’s death. It’s punishable by up to four years in prison.”

    Rauner also did not perceive a substantial unjustifiable risk that resulted in several preventable deaths by not giving an adequate warning that the Quincy Veteran’s Home had a Legionnaires outbreak. The New York limo service acted recklessly and so did Rauner.


  30. - FedUp - Thursday, Oct 11, 18 @ 5:36 pm:

    Shah did what any self respecting lawyer/politician would do. Hopefully the next governor will appoint a medical professional to head IDPH. No need to defend that Mr. Shah is an MD. He has a MD degree but he has never seeen or touched a patient, gone through a residency or been licensed to practice medicine. Give us a person that cares about the public’s health and doesn’t give a damn about a governors agenda and protecting his own job. He should have been the first to speak up and protect those honorable Vets!


  31. - FormerParatrooper - Thursday, Oct 11, 18 @ 5:39 pm:

    This is personal to me. Rauner you failed vulnerable veterans. It is time to go away. If it were up to me, you would be Blagos cell mate.


  32. - wordslinger - Thursday, Oct 11, 18 @ 5:40 pm:

    The state health director in Michigan will be tried on involuntary manslaughter charges for failure to alert the public about an outbreak in Flint.

    https://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/2018/08/20/nick-lyon-trial-flint-water-legionnaires-deaths/1045751002/


  33. - Pot calling kettle - Thursday, Oct 11, 18 @ 5:46 pm:

    In the Trump Era, blatant lies are now truth (even more so if the liar is righteously indignant).

    I appreciate Rich posting this timeline, but does reality matter?


  34. - AlfondoGonz - Thursday, Oct 11, 18 @ 5:51 pm:

    “It makes no difference what I lie about, said the Governor. My lies endure. My lies were always here. Before my term, my lies waited for me. The ultimate trade awaiting its ultimate practitioner. That is the way it was and will be. That way and not some other way.”

    With respect to Cormac McCarthy.


  35. - Langhorne - Thursday, Oct 11, 18 @ 5:56 pm:

    August 26. Last day dolores french seen alive.
    August 29: Dolores French is found dead and her body was decomposed.

    We did everything right. These things happen. Never been happier.


  36. - The Dude - Thursday, Oct 11, 18 @ 6:15 pm:

    Don’t forget about Illinois Department of Labor’s letter about failing to notify the staff of the issue.

    Seriously, one of his own agencies scolded them for failing to notify. He just makes things up at this point.

    Remember it’s Governor Junk not Governor Facts.


  37. - wordslinger - Thursday, Oct 11, 18 @ 6:19 pm:

    When my kids were in high school, we received text and email notifications, same day, when the administration learned of any kids that had caught measles, whooping cough, etc.

    Same deal with any reports of suspicious character reports, even if my kids had skipped class.

    I though some of it was excessive, but as a parent, I was at least informed and had the chance to take action if I thought it necessary.

    The idea that the state knew it was at “the beginning of an epidemic” and did not inform anyone for six days is beyond comprehension to me.

    How the heck the state’s attorney down there doesn’t think any of that is worthy of investigation is beyond me.

    Dolores French’s family called and was told on Aug. 28 that she was fine. When her decomposed body was found the next day, the coroner reporter she had been dead for 36 to 48 hours.

    Her family tells their story in the link below.

    https://www.wbez.org/shows/wbez-news/the-quandary-behind-a-quincy-legionnaires-victims-death-where-the-heck-was-she/324098db-e7f0-4b67-9e5d-336908cc4b22


  38. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Oct 11, 18 @ 6:36 pm:

    ===Don’t forget about===

    Dude, it’s in the post.


  39. - Anonymous - Thursday, Oct 11, 18 @ 6:41 pm:

    The State’s Attorney claims the AG is playing politics. Remove the plank in your own eye.


  40. - XDNR - Thursday, Oct 11, 18 @ 7:08 pm:

    Rauner’s two PR stunts staying at Quincy…as failed bad faith gesture.


  41. - Suspicous Character - Thursday, Oct 11, 18 @ 7:46 pm:

    == Same deal with any reports of suspicious character reports, …==

    Speaking of “suspicious character reports” is that what this debate coverage is? Governor Suspicious Character. ;-)


  42. - Glengarry - Thursday, Oct 11, 18 @ 7:49 pm:

    Rauner, is a failure. Period.


  43. - Flapdoodle - Thursday, Oct 11, 18 @ 8:15 pm:

    Former Paratrooper: “This is personal to me. Rauner you failed vulnerable veterans. It is time to go away. If it were up to me, you would be Blagos cell mate.”

    How about a little blanket party to go with that, just for fun?

    With respect (I also jumped).


  44. - FormerParatrooper - Thursday, Oct 11, 18 @ 8:33 pm:

    Flapdoodle, a blanket party would be a waste on his lower than a leg status. Feet and Knees.


  45. - DeseDemDose - Friday, Oct 12, 18 @ 8:16 am:

    Rauner looked into the eyes of those elderly vulnerable veterans when he stayed at Quincy home. How callous can Rauner be to still keep the charade going?


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