April 30, 2021

Duckworth, Durbin Statement On State IG Report on LaSalle State Veterans' Home


[SPRINGFIELD, IL]—U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), a combat Veteran and former Director of the Illinois Department of Veterans' Affairs (IDVA), and U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) today issued the following statement after a report by the Acting Inspector General of the Illinois Department of Human Services revealed a lack of preparation, poor communication and training, and a lapse in infectious-disease protocols at the LaSalle State Veterans’ Home. The COVID-19 outbreak at LaSalle claimed 36 Veterans’ lives and resulted in 109 other Veterans and 116 staff members testing positive for the virus.

“What took place at the LaSalle State Veterans’ Home was a tragedy. As this report details, despite good faith efforts from front line staff at the home, Illinois lost 36 Veterans and hundreds were sickened there because of blatant neglect for public health protocols by leadership. The officials responsible for keeping our Veterans safe at LaSalle – as well as the other Illinois Veterans’ Homes – failed them. We will continue to push the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to offer its support at the federal level to protect Illinois’ Veterans from this virus.”

In November 2020, Durbin and Duckworth sent a letter to then-Illinois Department Veterans’ Affairs Director Chapa LaVia calling for an independent investigation into the situation, which Chapa LaVia launched.