McCann demands resignation of public health director


Chicago, Ill (WAND) – State Senator Sam McCann, (R) Plainview, ripped the Illinois Department of Public Health for its handling of a Legionnaires’ Disease outbreak at the Illinois Veterans’ Home in Quincy.

McCann also called for Director Nirav Shah, MD, to resign pointing to the 13 deaths at the home since 2015.  He blasted Shah for not notifying workers at the facility saying many found out about the outbreak from media reports.  McCann’s comments came during a legislative hearing in Chicago on Monday.

“They know that you have failed.  They talk to us.  You sir disgust me,” McCann fired at Shah during the hearing.  “We have people living in that facility who survived the battlefield but they may not survive us.”

Shah was quick to defend his departments work and response.

“Our response was quick, it was coordinated,” Shah stated.  “It turned the tide on the outbreak and I’m proud to stand by it.”

“No, I don’t believe the tide has turned,” said McCann pointing to four new confirmed cases of Legionnaires in the past month.  “I have called for your resignation Doctor Shah and I call for it again and if you won’t provide it I call on the governor to relieve you of your duties.”

Illinois Veterans’ Affairs Director Erica Jeffries signaled a new approach by the Rauner Administration during the hearing.  While saying replacing piping at the Quincy facility is still on the table, Jeffries stated the administration is now looking at building and constructing new facilities in Quincy to replace the current dorms which are sixty to seventy years old.

“We do provide the highest quality of care to our Illinois heroes,” Jeffries said.  “But we are not, just to be frank, providing that care in state of the art facilities.”

Democratic state senators are vowing to hold additional hearings into the administrations handling of the Legionnaires’ outbreak.

(Pictured: Sen. Sam McCann)

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