President Obama offered a stern call for the Department of Veterans Affairs to improve its practices amid allegations of veterans dying while waiting for health-care in facilities across the country.
“When I hear allegations of misconduct, any misconduct, whether it’s allegations of VA staff covering up long wait times or cooking the books, I will not stand for it,” he told reporters on Wednesday after meeting with Secretary Eric Shinseki earlier that morning. “It is dishonorable, it is disgraceful, and I will not tolerate it, period.”
When it was reported that the president would be meeting with Shinseki, some political observers speculated that the secretary would resign or be let go after the meeting, but President Obama indicated Shinseki would remain in his position as the investigation continues, despite calls for a “swift reckoning.” He also signaled that he would wait to take further action until the upcoming inspector general’s report.
Those responsible for the malpractice against veterans will be held accountable, the president vowed. He asked Congress to be “a partner in our efforts” to get the facts and improve the situation at the VA.