- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 15, 2014

CNN’s Jake Tapper wants to know exactly what it would take for the Obama administration to fire Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki for deadly wait times at many VA hospitals.

“How many dead veterans do you need before somebody asks the question within the White House, ‘Maybe this isn’t the best steward of these veterans?’” Mr. Tapper asked White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough on Thursday. The question came after Mr. McDonough said that the Obama administration had increased funding for VA over the course of five years, Business Insider reported.

“The question Jake, is: ‘Are we doing everything we can every day to get the veterans the care and opportunities they deserve,” Mr. McDonough replied.  


SEE ALSO: ‘I would be dead if I had stayed with the VA,’ says veteran who dealt with Phoenix hospital


“But you’re not!” said Mr. Tapper.

The host of The Lead then referenced a letter from VA Affairs Chairman Rep. Jeff Miller of Florida, which was allegedly ignored by Obama administration in May of 2013. The Republican’s letter warned of an “alarming pattern” of patient care issues for veterans that needed to be addressed, but was reportedly met with “boiler plate” talking points by Secretary Shinseki’s office, Mr. Tapper said.

“This letter was sent a year ago and you guys ignored it,” said Mr. Tapper.

It is believed that 40 deaths of veterans in a VA hospital Phoenix may be due to long wait times.

“While we get to the bottom of what happened in Phoenix, it’s clear the VA needs to do more to ensure quality care for our veterans,” President Obama said on Thursday, the Associated Press reported.