CHRONICLE: New ad hits Rauner over deaths at veterans home

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A new ad is criticizing the Governor Bruce Rauner Administration for its response to an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease at the state veterans’ home in Quincy that killed at least thirteen veterans.

The spot features television news clips that highlight the scandal, which began weeks ago with a bombshell report from WBEZ. In three years, the disease killed 13 people and sickened at least 61 residents and staff at the Quincy veterans’ home, according to WBEZ. Eleven families are suing for negligence.

The Rauner Administration waited six days to tell families of residents and the public about what they knew was the beginning of a major outbreak, something that public health experts have called “mind-bobbling” and “inexcusable.” The ad mentions this failure, which has led critics to question the transparency of the administration.

U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth also appears in a news story in the spot, saying, “I think our veterans deserve nothing but the absolute best and they’re not getting that at this time.”

Rauner however has refused to take responsibility for the failures. In an interview, he would not say if he has a moral responsibility for the veterans’ illnesses and deaths. Wednesday, more than two years after the initial outbreak, Rauner finally convened a task force to look at how best to prevent additional outbreaks.

Though the administration knew about the problems in 2015, five more people at the home contracted the disease in 2016 and an additional six in 2017, including one death.

See the ad below.

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