Skip to comments.Too tired to care about VA scandal?
Posted on 08/04/2013 5:48:11 PM PDT by neverdem
An unknown number of U.S. military veterans are dead within 30 days of contracting Legionnaires' disease in a Veterans Affairs hospital in Pittsburgh.
Aside from their family members, few people seem to be outraged.
If that doesn't grab your attention, perhaps this will: VA officials in charge when those men were dying from a preventable illness received more than $100,000 in performance bonuses.
The same bureaucrats who were paid handsomely for negligence and incompetence also refuse to answer reporters' questions about whether they've removed the deadly Legionella bacteria from hospitals that were built to heal, protect and serve those who served us. More veterans could die if the bacteria are not removed, and no one appears to care.
Where is the moral outrage?
The national media have no problem devoting resources and airtime to whatever sexcapade New York mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner, a Democrat, will admit to next, or whether Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, both Republicans, have escalated their war of words beyond bacon and pork.
Surely the same national media have time to draw attention to veterans' needless deaths.
And what about other Americans? Are we so wearied by a long recession that we can only focus on our own financial worries and not the tragedy of preventable deaths?
Or perhaps we're just fatigued with the Obama administration's scandals the IRS targeting conservative groups, the National Security Agency seeing, hearing and tracking just about everything that everyone in this country does, the Justice Department tapping journalists' phones and emails, the still-murky details of how the White House responded to a terrorist attack on the U.S. outpost in Benghazi last September that left four dead.
Scandals aside, the country is coming to grips with the bankruptcy of once-formidable Detroit, the incitement by the press and the president of a racial divide over the tragic death of Trayvon Martin, and nagging uncertainties over the implementation of ObamaCare.
In short, America may be just too tired to care and it appears the VA is betting on just that.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has linked the VA Pittsburgh outbreak to at least five deaths, but a Trib investigation shows the number is higher.
Our newspaper's investigations also found that VA and CDC officials did not review water-quality testing records, which showed alarmingly high levels of Legionella bacteria in the water system dating back to at least 2007.
Late last week, the VA's undersecretary of health, Dr. Robert Petzel, was speaking at The National Press Club in Washington, a place specifically designed for open questioning by the press. After the speech, Petzel was asked what he had to say to vets who are concerned because the VA hospital continues to be run by those who presided over the outbreak.
The undersecretary just stared dully straight ahead and refused to acknowledge the question.
He continued to ignore another question from a Trib reporter about what he would say to veterans who admit they fear going to the VA for treatment because of its handling of the Legionella outbreak.
Petzel had just finished an hour-long speech, bragging about the VA's upgrades.
His spokesman said the press club wasn't the place for questions.
But with all due respect, sir, it is the press club.
Washington politics is no friend to the soldier: It is deaf to the VA scandal that has happened in Pittsburgh.
It is deaf to the impact of reducing military readiness as it debates national defense in an age of austerity something many career military men passionately believe will bring about the slow decay of ground-force readiness and render American servicemen and -women unprepared for the next military conflict.
Soldiers are the purest example of valor and sacrifice; every moment of their service, even the mundane ones, has great meaning and purpose. The only thing that protects our country and the freedoms we enjoy is the resolution and discipline of a well-led American soldier.
How can we stand by and not hold accountable those who neglected our veterans, whose love of God and country inspired them to serve and preserve our country's people and our fundamental liberties?
Salena Zito covers politics for Trib Total Media (412-320-7879 or email@example.com).
Unless these were all black soldiers being killed by racist half white doctors...
What difference does it make????
(to the media)
(with deference to Hillary!)
If they were terrorists (DNC-carrying Obama’s people
at Guantanamo) THEY would get medical care.
Veterans and Americans are the ENEMY of the government.
...and why wasn’t “major” hassan being treated in that facility?????????
Yes. Another Federal institution that is completely F-ed up?
Huh, unbelievable. I am completely outraged.
These incompetent bureaucrats should face charges off negligent homicide.
This—This is not a scandal it is an outright crime. Why is it almost something EVERYDAY with these people?
Let’s see what the Silver Star Families of America will say.
I bet Code Pink will have a daily protest outside the building like they did at Walter Reed, right?
This story is going nowhere because we have a Democrat in office and because the victims are patriots.
If not Westboro “Baptist”..”church”.
>>>>>>this mr sharpton....is an ATROCITY<<<<<<<
The purpose of the VA is not to take care of Veterans. The purpose of the VA is to provide jobs for Democrats.
Same old, same old...
Very sad indeed...having trouble recognizing my Country nowadays.......too late?
Am I wrong to think that Federal employees shouldn’t be entitled to bonuses paid for with taxpayer dollars? Especially when the alternative for poor performance means you have very little chance of ever getting fired?
Tweeted and BookMarked for continued tweeting until it catches up with the administrators.
Dear Lord, keep watch over our Veterans who have given so much.
Early innovators for Obomney Care
Makes sense to me they would get bonuses, the goal is to reduce the cost of healthcare, to do this you do not treat people, you let them die.
The left believes there are too many people on the planet.
Many millions more will die before this ends.
Something funny about this story.
Legionella makes people sick when inhaled, not when it's ingested. Most outbreaks are connected to HVAC systems, not water systems.
If the water is the source, it is probably related to being contracted while showering.
It's really pretty easy to control in hot water systems.
The disease is much more common than most people realize. It is often misdiagnoed as pneumonia, of which it is indeed a form.
Ping and bump. Thanks Ms. Zito.
I heard about this, but didn’t realize it was in a Pittsburgh VA hospital!
Active Duty/Retiree Ping.
Thank you for raising awareness to this deplorable situation.
America demands Justice
for the Fallen of Benghazi!
I ‘ve worked on one outbreak that was caused by non-engineered (saving $$$) modifications to a complicated potable water system in a very large manufacturing facility. Fortunately, there were no fatalities and 2 out of 3 cases were to cheapskates in the management offices instead of the production workers.
Legionella bacteria are naturally found in water and cases of Legionella pneumonia have been associated with aerosolization from cooling towers, evaporative condensers, misters, whirlpools, potable water, water fountains, humidifiers and respiratory therapy equipment. Rare cases have been attributed to aerosolized potting soil.
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Definitely not too tired to care. Thanks for pinging it to my attention!
Unknown number? It should be made known.
Hospital infections killed my grandma, those places are filthy. Wouldn’t expect any better from the federal government, though our vets deserve it.
I also wrote about it on my medical blog.LINK.
The Mainstream media only would care if it hit rich yuppies, not veterans or blue collar folk in Pittsburgh.
Could it have been aerosolized by the upward water stream?
Oh, I should have read the entire thread before responding.
I'm assuming this is a fairly large facility requiring at least several hundred tons likely more of cooling. In such cases Chill Water air conditioning plants or aka Chillers are used. Water is piped to several large air handlers where the cooling coil is. These coils in extreme heat also have shower nozzle sprayers and thus the most likely source. We were doing this in a medical facility I worked at over 18 year ago.
Ping to post 35. It might make more sense.
Thanks for the links!
Yep, it's not impossible although I do not know the probability.
As in ancient Rome, the masses demand more Government benefits that they never earned.
Obama and Hagel want to quadruple TRICARE premiums, and the reaction from our "fellow Americans" is the sound of crickets.
The love of Americans has waxed cold. They surround themselves with their own misery stories, and they have quickly forgotten the sacrifice of those who gave so much for their own freedom.
Thanks for the ping!
If you see posts of interest to Pennsylvanians, please ping me.
Thanks brityank for the heads up
Sorry for the delayed ping - I was away for the weekend.