News

Veteran’s Affairs secretary won’t resign, is ‘angry’ over claims

Veteran’s Affairs secretary won’t resign, is ‘angry’ over claims

WOUNDED WARRIORS:President Barack Obama, accompanied by Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki, left, welcome the Wounded Warrior Project’s Soldier Ride as they circle the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Thursday, April 17. The cyclists were in specially built bikes that could accommodate amputations or other injuries. Photo: Associated Press/J. Scott Applewhite

(Reuters) – U.S. Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki said on Wednesday he was “angry” over claims that as many as 40 people died while waiting for medical care in the veterans’ healthcare system and wants a full investigation, but does not plan to resign.

“What I want veterans to know … this is a good, quality healthcare system, not perfect, and when we stumble across our imperfections we’re going to do something about it, we get to the bottom of it, and to the best of our abilities assure it never happens again,” Shinseki said in an interview on NBC News.

Shinseki also said he was angry. Asked if he would resign, he said he serves “at the pleasure of the president.”

Some Republican lawmakers have called for Shinseki’s resignation. They include Kansas Sen. Jerry Moran, a member of the Veterans Affairs Committee, who said on Tuesday the Veterans Affairs Department needed a “true transformation … from top to bottom.”

Veterans Affairs is the biggest U.S. healthcare system, with

1,700 hospitals, clinics and other facilities. It has nearly 9 million people enrolled.

The VA secretary put the director of a Phoenix hospital on indefinite leave last week while the department’s inspector general probes whistleblowers’ claims that up to 40 veterans may have died while waiting for medical appointments.

Two other hospital officials were also put on leave.

The American Legion, the biggest U.S. veterans group, and Concerned Veterans for America called on Monday for Shinseki, a former Army general twice wounded in Vietnam, to step down.

President Barack Obama has expressed support for Shinseki and the VA has defended his record.

Senator Bernie Sanders, an independent from Vermont and chairman of the Veterans Affairs Committee, said on Monday firing him “doesn’t get us any closer to the truth or solve problems that may exist.”

(Reporting by Mary Wisniewski and Ian Simpson; Editing by Paul Tait)

Latest Headlines

in Local

York Police And Firefighters To Carry Opioid Antidote

Fresh
NARCON KIT

YORK, Maine (AP) In response to growing concerns statewide regarding heroin usage, York police and firefighters are among the first in Maine to be equipped with the opioid antidote naloxone.

in Local

Lewiston Police Officials Hope To Hire Somali Officers

Fresh
GENERIC POLICE CRUISERS

LEWISTON, Maine (AP) The Lewiston Police Department is reaching out to the city's large Somali population as it recruits new officers.

in Trending, Viral Videos

TODAY’S MUST SEE: ‘Game of Thrones: The Musical’

Fresh
15-overlay6

Coldplay teams up with the cast of "Game of Thrones" for a hilarious musical version of the hit HBO show to help raise money for Red Nose Day.

in Local

Augusta Man Pleads Guilty In Steak Knife Stabbing Attack

JASON BOUCHER

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) An Augusta man who used a steak knife to slice another man's jugular vein last September has pleaded guilty to elevated aggravated assault in Kennebec Superior Court.

in Local

Maine Minute 5/21

maine minute

Heat the WGAN Maine Minute for May 21st.

Tweets

  • 1h
  • 2h
  • 2h
  • 3h
  • 3h
  • 15h
  • 17h