SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (NEXSTAR) — State Senator Sue Rezin (R-Morris) criticized the Pritzker administration for a lack of transparency in handling the fatal Coronavirus outbreak at the LaSalle veterans home.
COVID-19 swept through the state-run facility and claimed the lives of 39 veterans last fall. Reports later showed several breakdowns or ineffective measures to stop or slow the spread of the virus. The House and Senate Veterans Affairs Committees each held hearings to investigate the Pritzker administration’s role in managing the outbreak last week.
“The outbreak started on November 1,” Rezin said on Capitol Connection. “No one from the state responded until November 12 with an on site visit, and it’s taken the governor seven months to receive the report back to say that he responded.
Rezin was responding to Pritzker’s remarks earlier in the week. He was asked to compare his administration’s handling of the Coronavirus outbreak at the LaSalle veterans home to the Rauner administration’s handling of a Legionnaire’s outbreak at a state-run veterans home in Quincy.
“Transparency, transparency, transparency,” Pritzker responded. “We have from the very beginning provided all the information that we become aware of. I think that’s not the case in the prior instance at Quincy.
“You know, these are tragedies, no doubt, but they’re tragedies the public should know as much about as we can learn, and that’s why I asked for an independent investigation, and why that report was delivered in an independent fashion.”
Rezin argued the scope of that investigation was limited to keep the governor’s office out of it.
“There’s been a lack of transparency. If you look at the inspector general’s report, the parameters of the report specifically did not include investigating the communication between the Department of Veterans Affairs and the governor’s office, or the Department of Public Health. In fact, no one from the governor’s office was interviewed for the inspector general’s report. So if anything, there’s been a lack of transparency in this entire process by the Pritzker administration.”
You can listen to all of this week’s extended Capitol Connection interviews here: