Friday, April 17, 2020

Veterans Affairs lifts restrictions on masks for health workers...and is now under investigation

update VA pledges more masks for medical staff who were rationing supplies

Federal investigation launched as Veterans Affairs lifts restrictions on masks for health workers

ABC News
Quinn Owen
April 17, 2020

The numbers of infected employees continue to grow along with the rising case count among the nation's veterans. So far 284 veterans seeking treatment at VA-run facilities have died while the number of confirmed positive cases reached nearly 5,000 on Thursday.

Federal officials have launched an investigation into allegations that the Department of Veterans Affairs is putting its health care workers in danger as they continue to work on the front lines fighting the novel coronavirus, according to a Department of Labor letter obtained by ABC News.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) investigation comes in response to a VA union complaint last week that medical workers who were exposed to infected patients did not receive coronavirus testing and lacked sufficient protective equipment, including N95 respirators, eye protection, face masks and gowns.
read it here

VA secretary refuses to share documents that detail PPE supply, lawmakers say
The House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs has requested the documentation dozens of times since March 23. Eight Democrats on the committee, including its chairman, Rep. Mark Takano, D-Calif., wrote to the White House Task Coronavirus Task Force on Thursday morning asking that it be shared immediately.

“If VA does not provide our committees with timely information, we cannot adequately exercise our oversight responsibilities, nor can we work with VA to minimize the harm to our veterans caused by this pandemic,” the lawmakers wrote. (Stars and Stripes

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