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Reopening Of VA Hospitals May Endanger Nurses

Reprinted with permission from DCReport

Nurses warn of needless sickness and death if Veterans Affairs hospitals reopen without enough personal protective equipment.

The VA employs 342,000 workers, more than a fifth of the government's civilian workforce. If nurses and other healthcare workers contract COVID-19, the coronavirus will spread to others, including veterans.

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Why 73 Veterans Died In Understaffed Soldiers Home

Reprinted with permission from ProPublica.

On March 10, trustees of the Holyoke Soldiers' Home in Massachusetts heard a glowing review of the facility's operations. For the third year in a row, the home's superintendent reported to the board, the 247-bed nursing home met or provisionally met the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs health care standards.

We “are happy to report a 'three peat,'" Superintendent Bennett Walsh told the board, according to minutes of the meeting.

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How ‘Pirates’ Caused Supply Delays That Led To VA Deaths

Reprinted with permission from ProPublica.

Before embarking on a 36-hour tour through an underground of contractors and middlemen trying to make a buck on the nation's desperate need for masks, entrepreneur Robert Stewart Jr. offered an unusual caveat.

“I'm talking with you against the advice of my attorney," the man in the shiny gray suit, an American Flag button with the word “VETERAN" pinned to his blazer, said as we boarded a private jet Saturday from the executive wing at Dulles International Airport.

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Veterans Denounce Trump’s Attacks On Vindman

President Donald Trump’s attacks and retaliation against impeachment witness Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman are an “an affront to the Constitution,” according to an open letter from a group of more than 1,1000 veterans made public today.

“The President’s actions and insults towards LTC Vindman are not only wrong, they carry dangerous implications,” the group said. “The dismissal of LTC Vindman and his brother, also an Army Lieutenant Colonel, from the National Security Council staff appears to be motivated by nothing more than political retribution and deprives the White House of expertise necessary to defend our collective national security. The manner of these dismissals suggests that the Commander-in-Chief has prioritized a personal vendetta over our national security.”

Vindman provided important testimony during the impeachment proceedings as a witness to Trump’s infamous July 25 call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Vindman was disturbed by Trump’s effort to induce Ukraine into launching and announcing investigations of former Vice President Joe Biden and his son.

Trump and his allies have since lashed out at Vindman and tried to undermine his credibility. The president claimed Vindman didn’t accurately report the contents of the July 25 call, though no evidence has been presented that contradicts the witness’s testimony. (The president, of course, never testified under oath in his own defense nor did he permit any witnesses to do so.) Trump also called Vindman “very insubordinate.”

The letter continued:

The President’s slander of LTC Vindman, moreover, further undermines military discipline and public trust in an institution for which there are few more precious commodities. The President’s attacks and suggestion that the Defense Department should investigate him take aim at the long-standing military code of conduct that demands that service members report wrongdoing and illegal acts through proper channels. LTC Vindman did just this. That these attacks come on the heels of President Trump’s pardoning of — and campaigning with — war criminals, his public threats of war crimes, and his minimization of Traumatic Brain Injury, a debilitating scourge on so many veterans, only compounds the implications.

Read the full document here.

Military Times first reported on the letter.