Showing posts with label Department of Veterans Affairs. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Department of Veterans Affairs. Show all posts

Thursday, April 28, 2022

VA added 9 more respiratory cancers as presumed disabilities

Nine new cancers added to the presumed service-connected list related to particulate matter

News Sections: #VetResources, Benefits, Top Stories
Published On: April 26th, 2022
Bryan Lett is a USMC Veteran and public affairs specialist for VBA’s Office of Strategic Engagement
Department of Veterans Affairs On April 26, VA announced the addition of nine rare respiratory cancers to the list of presumed service-connected disabilities due to exposure to fine particulate matter for Veterans who served any amount of time in

Afghanistan, Djibouti, Syria or Uzbekistan during the Persian Gulf War, from September 19, 2001, to the present, or The Southwest Asia theater of operations from August 2, 1990, to the present. VA is taking a new approach to making decisions on presumptives, one that takes all available science into account, with one goal in mind – getting today’s Veterans, and Vets in the decades ahead – the benefits they deserve, as fast as possible.

VA identified, through a focused review of scientific and medical evidence, a biological plausibility between airborne hazards, specifically particulate matter, and carcinogensis of the respiratory tract; the unique circumstances of these rare cancers warrant a presumption of service connection.

Veterans and survivors who had claims previously denied for any of the below respiratory cancers are encouraged to file a supplemental claim for benefits;
Squamous cell carcinoma of the larynx;
Squamous cell carcinoma of the trachea;
Adenocarcinoma of the trachea;
Salivary gland-type tumors of the trachea;
Adenosquamous carcinoma of the lung;
Large cell carcinoma of the lung;
Salivary gland-type tumors of the lung;
Sarcomatoid carcinoma of the lung and;
Typical and atypical carcinoid of the lung
VA will contact impacted Veterans and survivors to inform them about their eligibility and it will provide information on how to apply.

To apply for benefits, Veterans and survivors may visit VA.gov or call toll-free at 800-827-1000.

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Veterans benefits won't suffer if government shuts down

DoD, VA officials prep for a possible government shutdown later this week

Military Times
By Leo Shane III
September 27, 2021
Last week, Veterans Affairs officials released their shutdown contingency plan, which will be less severe than other department’s because of advance appropriations approved by Congress in last year’s budget agreement.

As a result, 96 percent of VA employees will not have to worry about furloughs if a shutdown occurs, and most VA programs — including medical care, benefits processing and burials at department cemeteries — will continue uninterrupted.
In this Oct. 1, 2013, photo, National Parks Service staff stand by the barricaded Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. because of a partial government shutdown caused by a partisan budget fight in Congress. (Carolyn Kaster/AP)
In anticipation of a possible government shutdown later this week, leaders from the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs have begun warning employees of possible office closures, program interruptions and potential furloughs that will result from a budget lapse. The moves won’t mean any work stoppage for active-duty service members, but it could mean a disruption in their pay until the federal financial issues are resolved.
read more here

On a personal note: SHAME ON THE GOP MEMBERS OF THE SENATE! read it here

Saturday, September 25, 2021

PTSD Ball Of Confusion

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
September 25, 2021

When you trust someone and discover they lied to you, it sucks! If they lied that time, you wonder how many other times did they lie to you. Then you wonder about everyone else you believed. While it is hard to get away from them and never have anything to do with them again, it is not impossible.

What if you lied to yourself? You tell yourself things all the time that are not true but you convince yourself otherwise. What do you do when you discover you should not have trusted you? You wonder what else you lied to yourself about. It isn't as if you can cut yourself out of your life. What do you do?

You forgive yourself by figuring out why you believed the lie in the first place. Most of us don't make things up in our own heads. We hear lies from someone else, who, very well may have been, told it and believed it as easily as you believed them.

Then you figure out if you only believed it because you wanted to. If it supports what you already thought, then it was something you wanted to hear.

We see that all the time when the topic is PTSD. When you hear someone has PTSD, maybe you think they are weak, and then believe the lie supporting that thought. What does that lie do to you when you survive something and discover you have PTSD?

The people who berate survivors the most are usually in denial about their own suffering. The truth is, someone told them that lie in the first place, and they wanted to believe it.

This is from The Department of Veterans Affairs
The number of Veterans with PTSD varies by service era:
Operations Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and Enduring Freedom (OEF): About 11-20 out of every 100 Veterans (or between 11-20%) who served in OIF or OEF have PTSD in a given year.
Gulf War (Desert Storm): About 12 out of every 100 Gulf War Veterans (or 12%) have PTSD in a given year.
Vietnam War: About 15 out of every 100 Vietnam Veterans (or 15%) were currently diagnosed with PTSD at the time of the most recent study in the late 1980s, the National Vietnam Veterans Readjustment Study (NVVRS).
It is estimated that about 30 out of every 100 (or 30%) of Vietnam Veterans have had PTSD in their lifetime.
Other factors in a combat situation can add more stress to an already stressful situation. This may contribute to PTSD and other mental health problems. These factors include what you do in the war, the politics around the war, where the war is fought, and the type of enemy you face.
Another cause of PTSD in the military can be military sexual trauma (MST). This is any sexual harassment or sexual assault that occurs while you are in the military. MST can happen to both men and women and can occur during peacetime, training, or war.
Among Veterans who use VA health care, about:
23 out of 100 women (or 23%) reported sexual assault when in the military.
55 out of 100 women (or 55%) and 38 out of 100 men (or 38%) have experienced sexual harassment when in the military.
There are many more male Veterans than there are female Veterans. So, even though military sexual trauma is more common in women Veterans, over half of all Veterans with military sexual trauma are men.

Now think about all the people in the US with PTSD

  • About 15 million adults have PTSD during a given year. This is only a small portion of those who have gone through a trauma.

Stop lying to yourself and start forgiving yourself for the lies you believed about yourself! People lied to you but it is not too late to tell yourself the simple truth. There is nothing weak about being a survivor. There is nothing holding you back from healing other than what you allow to hold power over you.

No one will understand what surviving did to you unless they survived something that could have killed them. Look at the people around you and then understand it is not easy for them to understand you, even though they love you and care about you. They don't understand what caused changes in you anymore than they can understand that you need help to heal. This is why support groups work! You get the support and information you need to heal and then have the confidence to explain it to people in your life.

The only way to get there from where you're at is, tell yourself the truth about what it is and then tell yourself the truth that you are not stuck suffering. The road to healing is waiting for you and has been cleared by all the others who decided to end the ball of confusion. #BreakTheSilence and #TakeBackYourLife from #PTSD

The Temptations Ball Of Confusion

Monday, September 20, 2021

100,000 LGBT veterans get justice

There have been a lot of reports over the years about veterans committing suicide. What the reporters leave out, among many, is the fact that if you are not "honorably" discharged, you are not counted as a veteran on anything. The news that LGBTQ+ are having other than honorable discharges changed, is a blessing, however, most of us are wondering what happens to the families when it is too late to honor the service of those who have committed suicide. What is justice for them?

The VA is aware of the problem these veterans have when they manage to get an honoranble discharge. LGBTQ+ Veteran Suicide Prevention proves that, but while today may seem like vindication for up to 100,000, what good does it do to those who are no longer alive because of the way they were treated?

What does justice look like for them?

Biden recognizes the 10th anniversary of 'don't ask, don't tell' repeal
Biden said that many of those veterans received what are known as “other than honorable” discharges, which excluded "them and their families from the vitally important services and benefits they had sacrificed so much to earn."

LGBT vets with other than honorable discharges will get VA benefits under new plan

Military Times
By Leo Shane III
September 17, 2021

Tens of thousands of LGBT veterans forced from the military for their sexual orientation and given other-than-honorable discharges will be able to receive full Veterans Affairs benefits despite their dismissal status under a new move set to be announced Monday.

The change comes as the country approaches the 10th anniversary of repeal of the controversial “don’t ask, don’t tell” law which forced nearly 14,000 service members out of the ranks for admitting their sexual orientation.

But the impact of the new VA announcement goes further than just those individuals, to potentially include troops who served before and after the law who may have been given bad performance reviews or intimidated into leaving the military because of their LGBT status.

Outside advocates estimate as many as 100,000 over the last 70 years may have been involuntarily separated from the military based on their sexual orientation. Data on how many received other-than-honorable discharges is not available.
read more here

Tuesday, July 6, 2021

treat the whole person and to change the conversation

This is about Stellate Ganglion Block treatment. It works for some. This is not an endorcement of it. What is really important about this is the fact they acknowledge the need to treat the whole person and to change the conversation! Now that, I fully endorce!


The War Inside: Near death experience pushes veteran to search for help

CBS 21 News
by Michael Gorsegner
July 5th 2021

“It's not about treating the veteran, it’s about treating the person that is really in pain,” said Dr. Sean Mulvaney, Regenerative Medicine Specialist.
York, PA — Over the past several days, a significant step was taken in the post 9-11 conflicts as more American troops exit Afghanistan. However, the brave men and women who put their lives on the line for our country are facing an increase threat at home, suicide.

In the final story of a three-part series, CBS21’s Michael Gorsegner is pulling back the curtains on this growing epidemic and the push to expand a treatment that is saving lives. “I feel so fortunate,” said Robin Cody.

Nurse, mother, veteran, Robin Cody wears many hats. On the surface, this career woman is the face of success. But underneath was a deep dark struggle.

“The body and the mind don’t forget trauma even if you are trying to will yourself to forget it,” she said.
read more here

Saturday, June 5, 2021

The best way to heal is to open up

The best way to heal is to open up
Jesse had a difficult time adjusting to civilian life after deployment. He used drugs and alcohol to try to forget his experiences in Iraq. He eventually reached out for help at VA, where he received therapy and connected with other Veterans. Now Jesse’s a Peer Support Specialist and encourages fellow Veterans to reach out for help.

If you have not been in Make The Connection from the VA...you are missing a lot!

Thursday, June 4, 2020

VA acknowledges it’s ‘not there yet’ with coronavirus testing for employees

Federal News Network
Nicole Ogrysko
June 3, 2020


The Department of Veterans Affairs does not have on-demand coronavirus testing for its employees up and running just yet, despite its best intentions to screen anyone who presented symptoms or believed they had been exposed.

VA has tested about 12% of its health workforce for the virus, Richard Stone, executive-in-charge at the Veterans Health Administration, told the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee Wednesday afternoon.

His comments contrast with those the department made one week ago before another congressional committee, when Jennifer MacDonald, chief consultant to the deputy VA undersecretary for health, told a House appropriations subcommittee any symptomatic employee or anyone who wanted a test could be screened.

“We’re not hearing that,” Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.), the committee’s ranking member, said. “We’re not hearing that from the folks on the ground. We’re still hearing that they’re not being tested.”

“Senator, you are exactly right, we’re not there yet,” Stone said. “Although we’ve tested over 12% of our employees, and it is our intent to have on-demand testing for all of our employees, we’re not there yet.”


Monday, June 1, 2020

VA Headquarters and monuments damaged by rioters

Protesters damage Veterans Affairs headquarters, several DC war monuments


Military Times
Leo Shane III
June 1, 2020

The Department of Veterans Affairs headquarters and several notable veterans memorials in Washington, D.C., suffered damage Sunday night from protests in the nation’s capital, part of a series of racially-charged outbursts in cities throughout America over the last week.
A man is seen through a shattered window at the Department of Veterans Affairs as he cleans up glass in Washington, Monday, June 1, 2020, after a night of protests over the death of George Floyd. Prosecutors say Floyd was murdered by a Minneapolis police officer after being restrained. (Carolyn Kaster/AP)
Unidentified attackers broke several windows and spray painted curse words along the sides of VA’s main offices, which sit a block away from the White House.

A car was set on fire just a few yards away from the main entrance to the building. According to multiple news sources, several buildings surrounding the VA were set on fire as protesters moved from areas around the White House to streets north of Lafayette Park.

In addition, VA officials said several department offices in other downtown buildings suffered some damage.
read it here

Saturday, May 30, 2020

VA Employees say VA "not offering widespread testing" for COVID-19

VA Says It's Providing a COVID-19 Test to Any Employee Who Asks. Employees Say That's Not True.


Government Executive
ERIC KATZ
Senior Correspondent
May 29, 2020

Veterans Affairs Department employees across the country are disputing a claim VA leadership made to Congress on Thursday that any employee who wants a COVID-19 test—for any reason—could get one.
Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie speaks during a House Appropriations subcommittee hearing on Thursday. ANDREW HARNIK/AP

Government Executive heard from employees at a dozen VA facilities in as many states who said the department was not offering widespread testing for the disease related to the novel coronavirus. In most cases, they said, only symptomatic workers could receive a test. That reality falls in sharp contrast to the situation described by VA’s top leaders.

“We also have testing available for our employees,” Jennifer MacDonald, VA’s chief consultant to the deputy undersecretary for health, said at a House Appropriations subcommittee hearing on Thursday. “Any employee who is symptomatic, who is concerned they have been exposed or requests a test is able to receive that.”

VA Secretary Robert Wilkie added VA was no longer experiencing any shortage of testing. “We do have an adequate testing at this point,” he said.

Employees, however, said their experience runs counter to those claims.

“That is absolutely not a true statement at my facility,” said one Ohio-based VA nurse. “If you’re symptomatic, that’s the only way [to get a test].”
read it here

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Women veterans are facing increasing isolation during the pandemic

Women veterans tell Congress VA communication has dropped during pandemic


Connecting Vets
Abbie Bennett
May 20, 2020
Advocates told lawmakers women veterans are facing increasing isolation during the pandemic and are struggling to access VA resources.
Women veterans told lawmakers on Capitol Hill that the Department of Veterans Affairs has not communicated well during the coronavirus pandemic.

In an online forum Tuesday hosted by the House Women Veterans Task Force, women veterans who are now researchers, veteran service organization staff and more told Congress members about the challenges female former service members face, and that they worry VA's focus on the pandemic could push those issues aside.

They recognized VA's effort to expand online services, such as telehealth appointments and mental health check-ins, but said they were concerned about ongoing issues that could fall by the wayside in the wake of the crisis.

Those issues include gender or sexual harassment at VA hospitals and clinics, inconsistent services, lack of staff trained to help women vets, lack of childcare and a lack of data keeping track of issues women vets face.
read it here

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

2020 class of Dole Caregiver Fellows, advocates for caregivers of wounded veterans.

Father Caring For Wounded Veteran Daughter Earns National Honor


Patch.com
By D'Ann Lawrence White, Patch Staff
May 17, 2020
Joseph Narvaez has been named to the 2020 class of Dole Caregiver Fellows, advocates for caregivers of wounded veterans.
Joseph Narvaez became the primary caregiver for his wounded veteran daughter, Laura.
(Dole Caregivers Fellow)
CLEARWATER, FL — After his daughter suffered injuries while serving in the Air Force, including a traumatic brain injury from an improvised explosive device, Clearwater resident Joseph Narvaez stepped up to become her primary caregiver.

Now Narvaez is being honored for his commitment by being asked to join the 2020 class of Dole Caregiver Fellows.

The Fellows are 30 military and veteran caregivers who have been carefully selected from across the country to represent Americans caring for a wounded, ill or injured service members or veterans at home.

The role of these Fellows has never been more important as caregivers are under unprecedented stress due to the threat of the coronavirus, said Steve Schwab, CEO of the Elizabeth Dole Foundation based in Washington, D.C.

As a Dole Caregiver Fellow, Narvaez will serve as a leader, community organizer and advocate for the nation's 5.5 million military caregivers – the spouses, parents, family members and friends who provide more than $14 billion in voluntary care annually to someone who served.
read it here

Friday, May 15, 2020

VA starts clinical trial of prostate cancer drug Firmagon for COVID-19

VA launches clinical trial for Veterans with COVID-19 based on prostate cancer drug


Department of Veterans Affairs

WASHINGTON — Today, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) began a new clinical trial to test a Food and Drug Administration-approved prostate cancer drug as a potential treatment for male Veterans with COVID-19.

In a double-blind randomized controlled trial, VA scientists will compare the drug degarelix (trade name Firmagon) to a placebo for improving the clinical outcomes of nearly 200 Veterans who have been hospitalized with COVID-19.

“Veterans who have contracted this virus are in need of immediate care,” said VA Secretary Robert Wilkie. “This trial is an important step in advancing knowledge of a potential treatment for those infected with COVID-19. We are here to do everything in our power to preserve and protect life.”

Degarelix is often used to treat advanced cases of prostate cancer. It works by rapidly, but temporarily, suppressing the body’s production of male hormones. These hormones can fuel the growth of prostate cancer. Scientists are testing degarelix because lab evidence suggests male hormones trigger the production of a protein called TMPRSS2 on lung tissue. The virus that causes COVID-19 relies on TMPRSS2 to enter lung tissues.

Researchers from the University of Alabama at Birmingham and Columbia University applied advanced artificial intelligence and computational genomics techniques and used that lab evidence for this COVID-19 data. The researchers collaborated with VA to plan the new trial.

Potential side effects of degarelix are typically linked to long-term treatment. In the trial, patients will be administered only one dose of the drug that will last 28 days. Any side effects of degarelix are thus expected to be temporary.

By temporarily lowering male hormone levels, researchers believe they can reduce the production of TMPRSS2 in lung tissue and thus prevent the virus from penetrating lung cells. Hormone levels will return to normal at the end of treatment.
read it here

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

California Veterans Home with 800 has no COVID-19 cases because of early actions taken

Veterans Home of California with almost 800 aging residents, has had no COVID-19 cases


KTVU FOX 2
By Debora Villalon
May 7, 2020

YOUNTVILLE, Calif. - Across the country, nursing homes and Veterans Affairs facilities are being overwhelmed by COVID-19.
California’s oldest and largest veteran’s home is COVID-19 free
A veteran's home in Yountville has nearly 800 aging residents, but zero cases of COVID-19. KTVU's Debora Villalon reports stringent steps are being taken at the nursing home and it seems to be paying off.


In the Bay Area, one institution stands out.
The Veterans Home of California in Yountville, with almost 800 aging residents, has had no cases.
"Fingers crossed we keep it that way," said Director Lisa Peake, while acknowledging an aggressive response.
"We got on it early, it's nothing to mess around with," said Peak. "Our campus and CalVet were probably a week to two weeks ahead of everyone else."

Access to the sprawling Napa Valley campus tightened in early March.

Staff wearing PPE screened arrivals then, and the precautions have only become more stringent since.
read it here

Monday, May 11, 2020

Brace for Surge in Demand for Veterans Mental Health Care

Veterans Groups, VA Brace for Surge in Demand for Mental Health Care


The Associated Press
By SARAH BLAKE MORGAN, CLAUDIA LAUER and HOPE YEN
May 11, 2020

“After years of self-imposed isolation ... I was really in need of person-to-person contact,” said Goldsmith, now the assistant director of policy at Vietnam Veterans of America. “Flash forward almost 13 years now since I got out, and telehealth is right for me."
FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. — When Kristofer Goldsmith was discharged from the Army in 2007 he was in crisis.
Margo Jarvis takes part in video teleconference at Cohen Veteran's Network's on Wednesday, April 22, 2020, in Fayetteville, N.C. (AP Photo/Sarah Blake Morgan)

He had been trained as a forward observer — the person who spots a target and gives coordinates to artillery — but when he got to Iraq, the then 19-year-old instead found himself photographing dead bodies for intelligence gathering. A suicide attempt before his second deployment triggered a less than honorable discharge and a long fight to gain honorable status after being diagnosed with PTSD.
VA officials said telehealth medical appointments jumped from 20,000 in February to nearly 154,000 in April. Many of the department’s partners have moved most or all of their mental health appointments to telehealth, including the Cohen Veterans Network which transitioned 98% of patients at its 15 clinics.
read it here

Vietnam-Era Veterans Were Exposed to Agent Orange on Guam

Report Claims Vietnam-Era Veterans Were Exposed to Agent Orange on Guam


Military.com
By Patricia Kime
May 11, 2020

"We conclude that existing evidence establishes that it is, at the very least, 'as likely as not' that veterans who served in Guam from 1962 to 1975 were exposed to Agent Orange and other dioxin-containing herbicides," wrote NVLSP Executive Director Bart Stichman and several law students and attorneys.

A U.S. Huey helicopter sprays Agent Orange over Vietnam. The U.S. military used at least 11 million gallons of Agent Orange in Vietnam from 1961 to 1972. Wikimedia Commons
New research could help Vietnam-era veterans who served in Guam and who have diseases linked to Agent Orange file for disability with the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Two veterans advocacy groups published a policy paper Monday saying that veterans who served on Guam between 1962 and 1975 likely were exposed to herbicides disposed of on the Pacific island or used for vegetation control.

The groups -- the National Veterans Legal Services Program and the Jerome Frank Legal Services Organization at Yale Law School -- say their link meets the VA's legal criteria for awarding affected veterans Agent Orange-related benefits.
read it here

Sunday, May 10, 2020

PEW Think Tank: About 300,000 U.S. World War II veterans are alive in 2020, 14,500 of them are female

On 75th anniversary of V-E Day, about 300,000 American WWII veterans are alive


PEW Research Think Tank
Katherine Schaeffer
May 8, 2020

A World War II veteran participates in a Veterans Day Parade on Nov. 11, 2019, in New York City. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
May 8 marks the 75th anniversary of V-E Day, when World War II came to an end in Europe. In the United States, V-E Day commemorations will honor the 16 million Americans who served during the war, even as only a small share of those veterans are alive today.

About 300,000 U.S. World War II veterans are alive in 2020, according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), which has published projections of the number of living veterans from 2015 to 2045. WWII service members’ numbers have dwindled from around 939,000 in 2015. Most living veterans from the war are in their 90s, though some are considerably older.

Of the 350,000 women who served in the U.S. Armed Forces during the war, about 14,500 are alive today.
read it here

Friday, May 8, 2020

Navy Vet got tired of waiting for prescription at Pensacola VA...went back with AR-15

FBI: Veteran tried to enter Pensacola VA Clinic armed with AR-15-style rifle, handgun


Pensacola News Journal
Colin Warren-Hicks
May 7, 2020
He returned to the clinic two hours later, carrying an AR-15-style rifle that was loaded with 20 rounds of ammunition, with one round in the chamber. The safety was turned off and "ready to fire," the affidavit stated.
After allegedly making threatening comments to a witness in the parking lot, a U.S. Navy veteran approached the Pensacola VA armed with AR-15 style rifle. (Photo: Gregg Pachkowski/gregg@pnj.com)
A U.S. Navy veteran is facing federal charges after he entered the Pensacola Veterans Affairs Clinic on Wednesday armed with an AR-15-style rifle, 34 rounds of ammunition and a handgun because he was upset COVID-19 policy changes were causing his prescriptions to be filled too slowly.

Howell E. Camp, 58, was stopped by police before he entered the building and was taken into custody.
read it here

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Some Veterans with dependents may "wait until 2021 for their stimulus checks"

With IRS Deadline Looming, Some Veterans May Still Wait Months for Stimulus Money


Military.com
By Patricia Kime
4 May 2020

Making veterans who can't fill out the online form wait until 2021 for their stimulus checks, when they can file a tax return that includes dependents, is "incompatible with the goals" of the stimulus money, Takano said.
The Internal Revenue Service has set a deadline of May 5 for veterans to register for dependent payouts, after initially saying they would have only two days. But the guidance, along with warnings that veterans who don't complete the form now will have to wait until next year for their stimulus funds, has left some confused and scrambling.

"We have several veterans with no Internet access," one email received by Military.com said. "Are you able to get at least 25 copies of this IRS form mailed to us?"


Nearly 7% of U.S. veterans live below the poverty level, and more than two million veteran households lack fixed or mobile broadband connections at home, according to a Federal Communications Commission study released last year. read it here

Saturday, May 2, 2020

COVID-19 "2,000 cases within VA in the last five days"

Veterans Affairs adds 2,000 new coronavirus cases in five days, deaths top 500


Military Times
Leo Shane III
May 1, 2020

Veterans Affairs patient deaths from coronavirus topped 500 overnight and cases rose to nearly 9,000 as the illness continues to spread within the department’s health system.
Nurse Heather Espinal stands in front of the James J. Peters Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center where she works in New York City on April 22, 2020. (Mark Lennihan/AP)

As of Friday morning, 8,798 patients had contracted the fast-spreading virus, an increase of more than 2,000 cases within VA in the last five days. On April 2, the system had fewer than 2,000 total cases.

Dozens of sites have recorded more than 100 coronavirus cases among patients. The hardest-hit sites are all in the New York City area, while department hospitals in New Orleans, Philadelphia, Boston, Chicago, and Washington, D.C. have all recorded more than 200 cases.

As of Friday morning, VA has seen 512 deaths from the illness. That’s up 88 cases in the last five days. On April 1, the system had reported only 53 deaths.
read it here

VA ordered almost $300,000 worth of body bags in April

Veterans Affairs ordered nearly $300,000 in body bags due to coronavirus


The HILL
BY MARTY JOHNSON
05/01/20

Veterans Affairs ordered nearly $300,000 in body bags due to coronavirus
The Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) ordered almost $300,000 worth of body bags in April amid the coronavirus pandemic.

A contract document first reviewed by Politico shows that the VA ordered the body bags from a major contractor called ISO Group on April 15.

The VA has seen its number of COVID-19 cases and death rise. As of Thursday, 8,500 VA patients had tested positive for the virus and nearly 500 had died. Since the VA signed the contract on April 15, it has reported 3,000 new cases.

It is unclear if the purchase of the body bags was related to the pandemic or how many bags were purchased.

The Hill has reached out to the VA for comment.

The Trump administration ordered over 100,000 body bags in April, for a reported $5.1 million. The order was placed was the day after President Trump said that the U.S. death toll from the coronavirus might not exceed 50,000 or 60,000 people.
read it here