Chicago Sun-Times trashes Bruce Rauner’s Quincy veterans home stunt as ‘grandstanding’

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Chicago, IL – In a scathing recent editorial, the Chicago Sun-Times called out Gov. Bruce Rauner’s empty political gesture at the Quincy Veterans Home as “grandstanding.”

After 13 veterans and spouses died from Legionnaires’ disease on Bruce Rauner’s watch, the failed governor resorted to “moving into the Illinois Veterans Home in downstate Quincy for a few days, like it’s an Airbnb” according to the editorial board.

“We get it. It’s an election year. And a publicity stunt beats too little a show of concern,” the editorial continues.

“[In recent weeks], the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that ‘the possibility of future cases of disease associated’ with the veterans home ‘cannot be eliminated,’ … despite rigorous steps to rid the facility’s water system of Legionella bacteria. The CDC also offered recommendations to further shrink the chances of yet another deadly outbreak of Legionnaires’.

“In 2015, the veterans home had 46 confirmed cases of Legionnaires’ disease and 12 confirmed cases of Pontiac fever, which also arises from Legionella bacteria. Twelve people died from Legionnaires. The disease can develop after a person, usually someone older in age and with a vulnerable immune system, breathes in droplets of water containing Legionella bacteria that are carried through water systems.

“In 2016, there were five more confirmed cases of Legionnaires’ at the home despite improved training for staff to detect and treat the disease and improvements in the water system.

“Last year, between January and November, there were six more confirmed cases of Legionnaires’ despite additional improvements. One person died.

“Lives are in danger,” the editorial concluded. “There is no denying the three-year toll, or the continued threat. The time has come to replace the home with more modern and far safer amenities.

“Veterans and their families deserve it.

JB Pritzker, the Illinois AFL-CIO endorsed Democratic candidate for governor, also called out Rauner’s stunt.

“Bruce Rauner is conducting a political stunt instead of offering solutions and taking responsibility for this devastating crisis,” campaign spokeswoman Jordan Abudayyeh said. “The Illinois families who lost loved ones on Rauner’s watch deserve answers from the governor who let them down, not empty grandstanding.”

 

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