Department of Veterans Affairs

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Charges: VA Nurse Got at Least $150 per Vaccination Card

Informant posed as a buyer during investigation

(Newser) - Since coronavirus vaccination cards became a feature of pandemic life, authorities have said they've thwarted schemes to sell fake cards . Investigators say a Veterans Affairs nurse in Michigan was selling the real thing, going so far as to provide her customers with genuine lot numbers. Bethann Kierczak was arrested...

With Rising Cases Come Vaccine Mandates
This Week, a 'Turning
Point' on Vaccinations
THE RUNDOWN

This Week, a 'Turning Point' on Vaccinations

As case numbers rise once again, vaccine mandates gain support

(Newser) - The US has reached a turning point in the pandemic, with businesses, state governments, and even a federal government agency now backing mandatory coronavirus vaccinations for employees. How'd we get here?
  • A 'groundswell': "With vaccination rates stagnating and the delta variant driving yet another wave of cases,
...

Veteran, 35, Is Dying From Burn Pit Exposure

He has terminal colon cancer after service in Iraq, Afghanistan

(Newser) - It's an issue that Jon Stewart says has an "incredible similarity" to the health problems suffered by 9/11 first responders—and it's killing 35-year-old retired Staff Sgt. Wesley Black. He has terminal colon cancer that doctors have linked to exposure to burn pits during his time in...

VA Hospital Serial Killer Learns Her Fate

Reta Mays sentenced to life in prison

(Newser) - Reta Mays, the former nursing assistant who killed seven patients at a West Virginia VA hospital, was on Tuesday hit with one life sentence for each of those patients, plus 20 years for an eighth she tried to kill. She is not eligible for probation. Mays, who pleaded guilty last...

Family Sues After Vet Dies Covered in Ant Bites

He was bitten more than 100 times in room at VA facility

(Newser) - After serving his country for six years, Air Force veteran Joel Marrable died in a Veterans Affairs facility covered in more than 100 fire ant bites. The 73-year-old's three adult children are now suing the government, alleging that the bites contributed to his death days later. According to the...

Cleaning Goes Wrong, Ruining 1.9K Vaccine Doses

Alarm and monitoring system failed to warn anyone

(Newser) - A freezer holding Moderna coronavirus vaccine was in a secure place at a VA pharmacy in Boston, with an alarm system activated. On Tuesday, ABC reports, employees realized the freezer wasn't working. "The plug was found loose after a contractor accidentally removed it while cleaning," said a...

Biden Giving Big Role to a Familiar Face

President-elect will bring in Susan Rice to guide domestic policy

(Newser) - Joe Biden is bringing a familiar ally back to the White House. Politico reports that he has picked Susan Rice to guide domestic policy. More formally, she will run the White House Domestic Policy Council and thus have a big say in everything from health care to immigration to programs...

Former VA Staffer Killed 7 Vets With Insulin

Reta Mays pleads guilty in West Virginia

(Newser) - A former nursing assistant at a VA hospital in West Virginia has pleaded guilty to murdering seven elderly veterans and attempting to kill an eighth. The vets were given insulin injections that led to fatal blood sugar crashes ; the victims were largely either not diabetic, or not in need of...

Woman With 'Mind-Bending' Link to Civil War Has Died
Last Pension
Tied to Civil War
Has Been Paid Out
in case you missed it

Last Pension Tied to Civil War Has Been Paid Out

Irene Triplett, last child of Civil War veteran getting a pension, has died at 90

(Newser) - The word "mind-bending" features in the Wall Street Journal 's obituary on Irene Triplett and her place in history, with good reason. The 90-year-old died Sunday in a Wilkesboro, NC, nursing home, bringing an end to the final pension that had been paid out in connection with the...

Sen. Schumer to the VA: What Were You Thinking?

The top Democrat wants details on the agency's use of hydroxychloroquine

(Newser) - The Senate’s top Democrat on Sunday called on the Department of Veterans Affairs to explain why it allowed the use of an unproven drug on veterans for the coronavirus, saying patients may have been put at unnecessary risk, the AP reports. Sen. Charles Schumer of New York said the...

VA Doctor Allegedly Made 3K Mistakes. 3 Patients Died

Arkansas' Robert Morris Levy faces up to 524 years if convicted

(Newser) - A former Veterans Affairs doctor is accused of making more than 3,000 errors, including "incorrect and misleading diagnoses" resulting in three patients' deaths. He faces up to 524 years in prison if convicted. Federal investigators say one veteran died of prostate cancer though Dr. Robert Morris Levy, the...

He Left the VA Center Expecting Home Care. He Lost His Leg

Veteran's leg amputated below knee due to issues at Indianapolis VA center: report

(Newser) - A US Office of Special Counsel report based on complaints from three whistleblowers was sent to President Trump Wednesday, exposing scheduling and staffing issues at the Richard L. Roudebush VA Medical Center in Indianapolis that led to a delay in medical care for veterans. While the center says it has...

Report: VA Won't Repay Vets After GI Bill Snafu

Huge delay has left some vets facing hardship

(Newser) - A major snafu has hit benefit payments to student veterans under the GI Bill—and congressional aides tells NBC that they have been told the veterans are never going to be paid back. The aides say they were told by the Department of Veterans Affairs that the VA will not...

'Rising Democratic Star' Drops Out of Race, Cites PTSD

Democrat Jason Kander says he's 'done hiding' his post-traumatic stress disorder, depression

(Newser) - "I suffer from depression and have PTSD symptoms. After 11 years, I'm finally ready to do something about it." That was the surprise tweet Tuesday from Jason Kander, an Afghanistan war veteran and "rising Democratic star" who'd hoped to become the next mayor of Kansas...

ProPublica Unmasks Political 'Arrangement Without Parallel'
ProPublica Unmasks Political
'Arrangement Without Parallel'
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

ProPublica Unmasks Political 'Arrangement Without Parallel'

Claims the shadowy 'Mar-a-Lago Crowd' are exerting influence over the VA

(Newser) - "On any veterans issue, the first person the president calls is Ike," says a former administration official. If the name Ike doesn't ring a bell, at least in relation to Veterans Affairs, that's appropriate. A ProPublica expose by Isaac Arnsdorf explains he's "reclusive" Marvel...

Government's 2nd-Largest Department Gets a Leader

Senate confirms Robert Wilkie as head of Veterans Affairs

(Newser) - The government's second largest department once again has a leader. The Senate voted 86-9 Monday to confirm Robert Wilkie as the 10th secretary of Veterans Affairs, filling a post that was previously occupied by David Shulkin. President Trump's original pick to replace Shulkin, White House physician Ronny Jackson,...

Veteran Sets Self on Fire Outside Georgia Capitol

He suffered burns to at least 85% of his body

(Newser) - A man claiming to be an Air Force veteran upset with the Department of Veterans Affairs set himself on fire in front of the Georgia Capitol on Tuesday, suffering burns to at least 85% of his body. Authorities say 58-year-old John Michael Watts parked a vehicle and started walking toward...

Trump's New Pick for VA Is Much Less Controversial

Acting director Robert Wilkie asked to lead the agency permanently

(Newser) - Acting Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie is President Trump's pick to permanently lead the beleaguered department. Wilkie is a former Pentagon undersecretary for personnel and readiness, and a former adviser to GOP Sen. Thom Tillis of North Carolina. He's led the agency for two months, ever since Trump...

Amid 'False' Accusations, Trump's VA Pick Drops Out

White House physician Ronny Jackson says allegations against him have become a 'distraction'

(Newser) - The so-called "Candyman" won't be getting a sweet gig in the Trump administration after all. Dr. Ronny Jackson, the White House physician who became the president's pick to head the Department of Veterans Affairs, has withdrawn his nomination amid misconduct allegations, per the Hill . Jackson put out...

White House Defends Jackson, Quotes Obama

More allegations against VA pick surface

(Newser) - Hours after President Trump said he would understand if Veterans Affairs nominee Ronny Jackson bowed out, the administration made it clear it was going to continue supporting the White House physician—and even used Barack Obama to defend him. The White House released years of performance reviews, including one in...

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