CNN reporter Drew Griffin called Tuesday’s news report on the Veterans Administration’s Phoenix office “damning,” claiming the allegations of dozens of veteran deaths and widespread mismanagement “looks pretty bad” and wondered why internal VA sources gave the report such glowing reviews.
Griffin spoke to CNN’s Wolf Blitzer about the new findings, which were unveiled while President Barack Obama spoke to a skeptical audience at American Legion’s national convention about the disastrous collapse of the veteran healthcare system in Arizona — and possibly nationwide. (RELATED: Obama’s Speech To The American Legion Was Painfully Awkward)
“Well, this report, quite frankly, is a damning report,” he began. “It confirms much of which has already been reported. They did find that 40 veterans on electric wait lists have died.”
“This [Office of Inspector General] report really is a scathing rebuke of the management out there,” Griffin continued. “They talk about the fact that this poor quality of care is unacceptable — troubling lapses in follow-up, coordination, quality and continuity of care.”
The reporter explained how “significant delays in care” occurred for patients who later died and revealed that dozens of employees were involved in “cooking the books, hiding appointment wait times, actually denying care to veterans.”
“It is truly a damning report,” Griffin repeated. “Which is going to lead, I’m sure, to a big shakeup at that Phoenix VA — which has already begun.”
The CNN correspondent was shocked that sources in the VA were so confident prior to the report’s release. “Quite frankly, I’m a little stunned at some of the leaks we got earlier from the actual VA about how the report might look,” he admitted. “It looks pretty bad from my end.”