After Legionnaires’ outbreak kills 13 in state-run veterans home, Rauner tries to deflect responsibility
State Rep. Jeanne Ives (R-Wheaton) expressed outrage over a Dec. 20 WBEZ report that said state officials wanted to wait nearly a week before making the public aware of an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease at the Illinois Veterans Home in Quincy
The Chicago Sun-Times has reported at least 13 veterans have died of the respiratory disease in the last 13 years, with the families of 11 of the victims now filing suit against the state.
Ives, herself a veteran who is now running against Gov. Bruce Rauner in the Republican primary, is pointing a finger at Rauner over his handling of the situation.
“The governor has a morale responsibility to those who are served by the state,” she said in a statement. “He must ensure that services are delivered efficiently, meet the highest standards possible, and that they are, ultimately, sustainable. When it becomes clear that the state is not living up to those responsibilities, the executive officer must then respond with urgency.”
Ives added that Rauner’s dereliction of duty dates back to 2014, when he was first elected to office.
“Since his election in 2014, it become clear that Gov. Rauner is very cavalier with other people’s lives,” Ives added in the release. “While Rauner plays his blame-shifting game with other Illinois ruling class pols, veterans died. Preventable deaths aren't prevented when no one is in charge. Sweeping issues under the rug and breaking promises has become a common theme.”
Ives lamented Rauner’s actions are consistent with the way he has routinely turned his back on his supporters since being elected.
“This is another inexcusable betrayal of our veterans and the benefits they earned protecting our freedom,” Ives added. “Wasn’t Bruce Rauner the guy with business savvy who was going to make state government more efficient and responsive? He is AWOL and Illinois veterans are being short-changed as a result."