* Rep. Darren Bailey (R-Xenia) on Facebook this morning…
Here in Illinois, friends, this whole situation with this illegal voting, this voter fraud, friends, it’s real. Its very real. I am really encouraged because there are several Republicans who have run and were narrowly defeated up in the, I’ll call it the Chicagoland area, the northern part of the state, who are going to be calling for some recounts. This is good. I’m glad to hear this, they’ve found proof that has taken this many days, that they believe that something is off, something is wrong, so you’re going to be reading about that.
This all in the midst of the very same time we’ve got many Illinois Republican leaders throughout the state calling for Donald Trump to step down, calling for him to give up. That’s appalling. Adam Kinzinger, the US Congressman from the northern part of the state, seems to be leading this charge. Last night, he tweeted that Donald Trump should delete his Twitter account and he’s been calling for quite some time for Donald Trump to just give up, concede, and get out of the way. This man has never been a fan of the president. This man has been part of the problem with Illinois politics. So keep that name in mind, don’t forget that. Get on his Twitter and Facebook accounts and tell him to get his priorities straight if he’s a Republican, otherwise change his party. There’s several others that are joining this as well and we shouldn’t put up with this. If we want a healthy Illinois, if we want a healthy conservative movement, we’ve got to get real and we’ve got to get involved.
Recounts? Right. OK.
Anyway, on to Congressman Adam Kinzinger, who is widely rumored to be eyeing a 2022 run for governor. Bailey, you will recall, said months ago that he was thinking about a gubernatorial bid.
* Kinzinger appears to be trying to protect his right flank with an attack on Gov. Pritzker over the administration’s horrible response to the preventable disaster at the LaSalle Veterans’ Home. From a WCMY radio interview today…
Kinzinger: The federal government, the US Department of Veterans Affairs, came in, did an assessment, found a whole number of things wrong. And then from that point on began offering daily help to the LaSalle Veterans Home into the state of Illinois and was denied all November, basically. Every day they would call and ask ‘Do you want federal government help?’”
That comes with money. We passed $150 million in the CARES Act for this kind of situation. And the state of Illinois kept saying ‘No’ and I want to look at the… Okay, you have things like hand sanitizer that doesn’t kill COVID because it has no alcohol in it. Okay, well that’s just a dumb clerical error or was that somebody to attempt to save money at the cost of the veterans?
And then you look at things like how come you would not take federal government support? And while I don’t want to level this accusation, I do think it’s kind of interesting that in the middle of the federal government offering help to the state of Illinois, you have the situation where the governor would constantly talk about how the federal government’s failing because we’re in the middle of an election.
So I think there’s a lot of questions that you’ve answered and that starts with the governor. This is on the governor to explain, or fire or hold accountable those responsible, if it’s not him.
Q: When somebody from Washington called, who said ‘No’?
Kinzinger: Well, you know, it’s basically every day at the veterans’ home, at the state of Illinois, they said ‘No.’ And I think that’s part of the question. Who’s not just saying ‘No,’ who’s making the decision that we won’t take federal government help?
Look, you can think that you have it under control, and you can think that maybe somehow you know more than the federal government, but let’s keep in mind the resources, the federal government comes. Anytime you get an extra set of eyes or ears, or in the federal government’s case, you have 50 other states or 49 other states and territories basically under your jurisdiction where you can see, and have examples of what worked and what didn’t. So why that happened for a month, I have no clue.
And the problem is the governor has decided to do an IG investigation, which is going to take six months, Jay. We’re not going to get any answers before that. We need answers now. And like I said, the one thing that really concerns me is the eagerness that Governor Pritzker was the entire time of the election to take on President Trump on COVID and everything else. And I hope that certainly didn’t come into play, but we need to know.
I followed up with Kinzinger’s office a few hours ago to ask who in the federal government was calling the veterans’ home and have not yet heard back.
* From Jordan Abudayyeh at the governor’s office…
It is unclear what federal help Congressman Kinzinger is referring to. At the beginning of November, as the first positive cases were discovered at the LaSalle Veterans Home, the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs (IDVA) was in regular communication with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (USVA).
In fact, on November 5, USVA asked if the home needed assistance with PPE and the home administrator asked for additional N95 masks. USVA provided thousands of masks to be used at LaSalle and other veterans homes.
On November 9, USVA asked IDVA if they would like to have an infection control consultation and IDVA responded yes. IDVA also asked for IDPH to conduct an onsite consultation as well. Both of those visits were completed just three days later, the recommendations were implemented and the reports were made public.
After the site visit, USVA offered to make infection control experts available for further assistance and IDVA has requested that assistance. Dr. Amelia Bumstead with USVA is spending four to six weeks visiting all state veterans homes to improve infection control protocols and practices.
Throughout this process both IDVA and USVA have continued their communication and the IDVA appreciates the help and support offered by their federal partners. An independent investigation is also currently underway, and as the Governor has said, if that investigation uncovers malfeasance, appropriate disciplinary action will be taken.
*** UPDATE 1 *** Maura Gillespie at Kinzinger’s office…
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs was offering assistance to the LaSalle Veterans’ Home, operated by the State of Illinois, to send infection control experts to assist. Our staff was briefed on that, as was Sue Rezin, on November 19th during a phone call with the VISN Network Director who confirmed that the USVA had been checking in daily to see if the State needed help. They were not taken up on their offer until the State finally requested that help at the end of November.
Well, somebody isn’t telling the truth. Stay tuned.
*** UPDATE 2 *** Back to Jordan…
As soon as the offer was presented by USVA to IDVA on November 19, IDVA said that day they were interested in additional help and began discussions regarding the scope of work and began the process to formalize the request for an intergovernmental agreement. Conversations between the USVA and IDPH doctors took place as the intergovernmental agreement was put together and was formally submitted to USVA on November 27.