WASHINGTON –(ENEWSPF)—February 13, 2018
By: Rosemary Piser
Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) issued the following statement after two new cases of Legionnaires’ disease were confirmed at the Illinois Veterans’ Home (IVH) Quincy:
“Last month, the Governor stated that his goal was ‘zero instances of Legionella infection’ at IVH Quincy. However in the month that has passed, we have seen nothing from the Governor’s office – no final plan of action, no formal funding request, just more publicity stunts and promises of a task force review of proposals that should have begun years ago. Despite his goal, we’ve now seen two new cases of Legionnaire’s in the same buildings as previous outbreaks. This is outrageous. Illinois families have entrusted the well-being of their loved ones—who have served and sacrificed so much for our country—to the State, but the Governor keeps letting them down. Gov. Rauner can’t waste another minute of time before he takes real action on this crisis.”
Senator Durbin visited IVH Quincy in January to meet with leadership and tour the facility. He called upon Governor Rauner and his Administration for improved transparency in disclosing all new cases of Legionnaires’ disease and has urged the state to comply with all recommendations from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to prevent future outbreaks. In a press conference following the visit, Senator Durbin suggested that Governor Rauner immediately consider renovations in the Elmore building, which has had a high prevalence of cases of legionellosis since 2015, and was found last month by the CDC to have a strain of the bacteria that was the same type associated with the 2015 epidemic. Also last month, Senators Durbin and Duckworth pressed Governor Rauner for a copy of his Administration’s targeted, specific plan of action for IVH Quincy.
In early December Senators Durbin and Duckworth requested that the U.S. Government Accountability Office conduct a review of Department of Veterans’ Affairs oversight of nursing home care across the country, including state veterans’ homes such as Quincy.