A memo, obtained by Pittsburgh’s Action News 4, surfaced in mid-March showing that the Veterans Affairs Pittsburgh Healthcare System knew of the threat of Legionella bacteria at their facilities.
In the memo, dated in September 2011, a top physician at the VA Pittsburgh expressed his concerns about the bacteria and advised his staff to give bottled water to high-risk patients.
The public, however, was not notified of the situation until November 2012. The bacteria presence eventually led to the deaths of at least six veterans and the illness of many others.
Rep. Tim Murphy, R-Upper St. Clair, who took part in the congressional investigation of the Legionnaires’ disease outbreak, said “if the committee wasn’t investigating this and the media weren’t investigating this, I’m not sure anybody would know, so I want the VA to do its work. I want them to come clean. I want them to tell people. We need to have trust in our VA system for our veterans.”
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