Decatur, Ill (WAND) – Calling conditions at the LaSalle Veterans’ Home “gross negligence” Republican lawmakers Tuesday called for immediate legislative oversight hearings into the events leading up to the deaths of three dozen veterans.

“We must conduct hearings to understand what happened,” said State Rep. Tom Demmer, (R) Dixon.  “Who was notified and informed of the outbreak?”

The outbreak took place in November and December 2020.  In addition to 36 veterans dying of COVID more than 200 veterans and staff contracted the disease.  Staggering numbers that late in the year considering the COVID pandemic first hit Illinois in March.

“282 days into a public health emergency that changed everyone’s lives the management and staff at the veterans’ home did not anticipate and was not prepared for an outbreak,” Demmer remarked.

“Many combat veterans, those who had survived battlefield situations, died within the walls of our veterans’ home with failure after failure to follow health protocols,” said State Rep. Dan Swanson, (R) Woodhull.

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