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Shameful Neglect: 11 Veterans Died At Massachusetts VA Hospital, 5 Positive For COVID-19

In a nation that has never done right by our veterans, we're continuing to abandon them in time of crisis.
Shameful Neglect: 11 Veterans Died At Massachusetts VA Hospital, 5 Positive For COVID-19
Image from: Health.Mil News

On Monday, eleven patients at the Soldiers' Home in Holyoke, Massachusetts died. Five of them tested positive for COVID-19. Five more have been tested, but results have not come back, and one's status is unknown. According to CNN:

Eleven more veterans and five staff members have also tested positive for the virus, according to Morse. Twenty-five additional residents are awaiting the results of testing to determine if they have Covid-19.

Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse had received complaints about conditions at the facility, where 233 veterans live, and Morse reached out to the facility's Supt. Bennett Walsh, who Morse said spoke of the deaths, and positive COVID-19 tests results with "a complete lack of urgency."

Morse said following his conversation with Walsh he immediately reached out to Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito. Within a half hour, he said he received a call from the state Secretary of Health and Human Services.

[Dan] Tsai {Massachusetts Health and Human Services Deputy Secretary] told CNN his department has implemented an "onsite clinical command team comprised of medical, epidemiological, and operational experts responsible for the comprehensive and rapid response to the outbreak of Covid-19."

As of March 30, Supt. Walsh has been placed on paid administrative leave.

Nearly two weeks ago, in Cincinnati, veterans were being thrown out of their residential programs to make room for COVID-19 patients. They were given 24-48 hours to find a place to live, regardless of whether or not they had the funds, or be placed in homeless shelters.

According to the VA, veterans receiving counseling were given iPads to continue treatment virtually, but some veterans told WCPO they have not been given a device.

Across the nation the number of veterans who have died of COVID-19 tripled over the weekend. The military publication Stars and Stripes reported that now 27 have died from the virus. Remember, these are just the numbers of which we are aware. If we continue to have administrators of VA hospitals who don't feel "a sense of urgency" about maintaining safe conditions at their facilities, situations where the government is mandating veterans be displaced and made homeless to make room for COVID-19 patients, not only will the numbers skyrocket further... you can be sure we will never hear about them.

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