Veterans Healthcare Policy Institute
Is Trump’s Dept. of Veterans Affairs too Broken to Fight COVID-19?
April 7, 2020
“HOW INACTION, INCOMPETENCE, AND POLITICAL AGGRESSION INFLICTED UPON THE VA AN UNPRECEDENTED VACANCY CRISIS AHEAD OF A GLOBAL HEALTH PANDEMIC”
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Oakland, California (4/7/2020) – Years of chronic understaffing, privatization, and attacks on employees by Trump administration officials have left the Department of Veterans Affairs crippled and potentially hindered in its ability to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, as detailed by the Veterans Healthcare Policy Institute's Suzanne Gordon and Jasper Craven in Trump’s War on Veterans: How inaction, incompetence, and political aggression inflicted upon the VA an unprecedented vacancy crisis ahead of a global health pandemic at The American Prospect.
Gordon and Craven are available to speak via phone or on-camera about the Trump administration’s COVID-19 response and impact on veterans.
“Secretary Robert Wilkie has potentially violated U.S. Code that requires him to staff the VA,” said VHPI Policy Analyst Suzanne Gordon, a journalist who has spent three decades reporting on public and private healthcare systems across the world. “The privatization agenda hasn’t just weakened the VA, it’s neglected to prepare our nation for an emergency like the one we face now.”
The Veterans Healthcare Policy Institute has warned healthcare decision-makers that chronic understaffing and outsourcing care to more costly, ill-prepared private sector providers puts veterans’ lives in jeopardy.
“Lawmakers love to pledge allegiance to America’s veterans, yet few have prioritized fully staffing the VA,” said Jasper Craven, a VHPI policy fellow. “Now is the time for lawmakers to step up in order to ensure veterans of all eras feel confident in the future of their healthcare system.”
A full report on how the chronic understaffing at the Department of Veterans Affairs hinders the agency’s ability to care for veterans and fulfill its fourth mission will be released by VHPI in late April.
Suzanne Gordon, VHPI senior policy analyst, journalist, and author of Wounds of War: How the VA Delivers Health, Healing and Hope to the Nation’s Veterans.
Contact: 617-460-6606 and email@example.com
She resides in San Francisco, California.
Her work as appeared in The New York Times, The Boston Globe, The Nation, The Atlantic, Washington Monthly, The American Prospect, and other publications. She has appeared on C-SPAN’s Washington Journal, and was a commentator for CBS RADIO, and NPR’s Marketplace.
Jasper Craven, VHPI policy fellow and journalist
Contact: 802-274-0365 and firstname.lastname@example.org
He resides in Brooklyn, New York.
His work has appeared in Politico Magazine, The New York Times & NYT: At War, The Intercept, REVEAL from the Center for Investigative Reporting, The Washington Monthly, among others.
Fact Sheet on Understaffing / Readiness of VA Facilities During the Pandemic (PDF)
The Reporter’s Guide to Veterans’ Health Care: How to cover your local VA facility and veterans’ issues
The Veterans Healthcare Policy Institute is a non-partisan, 501(c)3 non profit organization and think tank that empowers veterans and provides clear, fact-based information to decision makers that leads to better healthcare outcomes for veterans. VHPI was founded by veterans and their caregivers, healthcare providers and professionals, and healthcare journalists in 2016.