A former federal employee union president is wracked with guilt because veterans died at a time when she was fully aware of gross misconduct within her Department of Veterans Affairs facility. But she was loath to tell congressional leaders about the problem. Why? Because Congress was led by Republicans, and she is a diehard Democrat.
“If I would’ve gone to him two years ago, who knows what kind of lives could’ve been saved,” Germaine Clarno told a radio interviewer Monday, referring to the Republican leader of a VA subcommittee. Clarno, a social worker at the Hines Veterans Affairs Hospital in Hines, Ill., was president of the union representing doctors at the hospital as the deadly wait-time scandal unfolded.
Dozens of veterans have died in recent years while waiting for appointments with doctors at multiple VA hospitals and care centers around the nation. But VA staffers systematically manipulated records to make it seem like they didn’t have long waits. The problems became so severe by 2013, that as many as 40 patients died at just the Phoenix facility.
The same practices took place at Hines, with the knowledge of its director. Additional problems also plagued Hines, like heart scans getting discarded without being read.
Clarno’s tale of haunting regret is at least the second case of people connected with VA unions admitting they did not speak up about life-and-death issues because the idea of talking to a Republican was too distasteful.
Read More about the Democrats who literally did nothing to help veterans.