Republican lawmakers demand hearing on COVID-19 outbreak at LaSalle Veterans' Home

Republican members of the Illinois House Veterans’ Affairs Committee sent a letter demanding the chair of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee convene a public hearing as soon as possible following recent reports detailing an outbreak of COVID-19 among employees and residents at the LaSalle Veterans’ Home.

“We must quickly investigate how and why a recent outbreak occurred and what steps are being taken by the Pritzker administration to stop the spread of COVID-19 at all State-run veterans’ homes and health care facilities,” said State Rep. Randy Frese, Republican Spokesperson for the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee. “Our veterans now depend on us, and we cannot let them down.  We stand ready to get to work to assist in providing the highest quality healthcare for all Illinois veterans.” 
 
According to data provided to the media by Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs (IDVA) Administrator Angela Melbrech, 62 residents and 69 employees have tested positive for COVID-19 since Friday, November 6. The increase in cases at the LaSalle Veterans’ Home is frightening and leaves lawmakers with many unanswered questions about the failures in protocol that has caused such a widespread outbreak. 
 
“It’s critical that a public hearing is convened by the Veterans’ Affairs Committee to include administration officials from the IDVA and the Governor himself so we can investigate what is happening inside Illinois run veterans’ homes concerning mitigation efforts to control the spread of COVID-19,” said Rep. Swanson, member of the Illinois House Veterans’ Affairs Committee. “Ensuring top quality health care and protecting Illinois’ sons and daughters that bravely wore the uniform of the United States Armed Forces should remain among the priorities of the Illinois legislature, and indeed all Constitutional officers.”
 
All Republican members of the Illinois House Veterans’ Affairs Committee signed onto the letter to demand a public hearing concerning the outbreak of COVID-19 at the LaSalle Veterans’ Home. Republican members of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee include; State Representatives Randy Frese, Dan Swanson, Dave Severin, Jeff Keicher, Mike Murphy, Brad Stephens, and Mike Unes. The letter sent to the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee Chairperson, State Representative Stephanie Kifowit, can be found here.
 
Rep. Frese added, “I communicated with Rep. Kifowit on Tuesday evening and was assured a public hearing will be scheduled. My Republicans colleagues and I stand together holding deep concern for the thousands of veterans living in Illinois under the care and supervision of the Department of Veterans’ Affairs. We demand a public hearing as soon as possible.”