The Department of Veterans Affairs hasn’t been known as the Veterans Administration since 1989, but that didn’t stop the White House Blog from misusing the decades-old label twice— and then quickly deleting it.
The Daily Caller News Foundation has learned that the White House blog listed the following quote on Monday morning: “On Friday, President Obama traveled to Phoenix, AZ to visit the Phoenix VA medical facility and to participate in a roundtable discussion with the Veterans Administration Secretary Bob McDonald, Deputy Secretary Sloan Gibson, and veterans to hear about the progress we’ve made to improve the VA’s ability to serve our veterans.”
White House called the VA the 'Veterans Administration,' a name it hasn't gone by for 25 years. Then fixed it… pic.twitter.com/TojSyD8XRv
— Pete Kasperowicz (@PeteKTheBlaze) March 16, 2015
The White House blog has since deleted the flub mentioning “Veterans Administration.” The VA’s own website confirms that after President Ronald Reagan boosted the department’s rank to an executive-level agency in October 1988, the changes, which came into play March 15, 1989, switched the name from Veterans Administration to the Department of Veterans Affairs. A total of 26 years have elapsed since the Reagan administration first made the change.
Obama’s visit to Arizona comes just over a year since the scandal broke at the VA hospital in Phoenix. A year ago, it was revealed that officials manipulated wait times and maintained secret waiting lists to cover up the fact that nearly 1,600 veterans were kept waiting months and months for appointments. As CNN reported, around 40 veterans died, and the ensuing scandal resulted in a series of investigations of VA facilities across the country– investigations are still uncovering horrific practices.
“Trust is one of those things that you lose real quick, and then it takes some time to build,” Obama said at a meeting with veterans’ representatives, according to the Washington Post. On Friday, Obama announced the creation of a new advisory committee to help modernize customer service and reduce a long backlog of veterans still waiting for care. VA Secretary Robert McDonald arrived ahead of Obama to meet with whistleblowers in Phoenix who say that they are still facing backlash for uncovering problems the VA wants hidden. A number of top-ranking VA officials have resigned since the scandal first surfaced, including former VA secretary Eric Shinseki, although critics have pointed out that none of the firings has related directly to fake data.
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