President Barack Obama is “madder than hell” about reports of long wait times that led to preventable deaths at veterans’ hospitals, according to a top adviser.
White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough said on Sunday on CBS’s Face the Nation that Obama is urging Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki to “continue to fix these things until they’re functioning the way that our veterans believe they should.”
Shinseki himself used similar language last week when he testified in front of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee about reports that at least 40 veterans died while waiting for care at a Phoenix VA hospital.
“Any allegation about any adverse incident like this makes me mad as hell. I could use stronger language here, Mr. Chairman, but in deference to the committee, I won’t,” Shinseki said on Thursday.
Dr. Robert Petzel, the VA’s top health official, resigned on Friday. House Republicans have also scheduled for Wednesday a vote on legislation that would expand Shinseki’s firing power.