On three separate occasions, Governor Bruce Rauner’s administration failed to tell staff at Quincy’s Illinois Veterans’ Home about outbreaks of Legionnaires’ disease, according to testimony in a hearing this morning.
Instead, staff learned of the outbreak through news reports.
The head of the union representing staff testified this morning in an investigatory hearing in front of the General Assembly about the Administration’s handling of the outbreaks and failure to properly address the outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease at the state veterans’ home in Quincy that killed 13 people and sickened at least 61 residents and staff.
The testimony claimed that during all three outbreaks at the home, many staff only found out about the risk to themselves and residents through media reports. As a result, they were unable to take proper precautions.
Eleven families are suing for negligence after thirteen residents of the Illinois Veterans Home died from Legionnaires’ disease since July 2015, according to a bombshell report from WBEZ.
Rauner has claimed that the administration did everything right, but in an admission that seemed to contradict that statement, conceded the administration is “investigating the possibility of entire system replacements, and perhaps even a new facility.”
It was earlier revealed that the Rauner Administration waited six days to disclose what they knew was the beginning of a major Legionnaires’ disease outbreak at the state veterans’ home in Quincy. A public health expert, Dr. Amesh Adalja, senior scholar at the Center for Health Security in the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, said the delay was “inexcusable” and “mind-boggling.”
The Rauner administration also claimed that outbreaks of the disease had been contained but reports then found there were additional cases in 2017, suggesting the state failed to stop the outbreaks of the deadly disease despite investing millions of taxpayer dollars.