News Local/State

McCann Calls On Rauner, Shah To Own Up To Legionnaires’ Crisis


Governor Bruce Rauner just ended a week-long stay at the Illinois Veteran’s Home in Quincy, the facility where 13 people have died from Legionnaires' Disease since 2015. Meanwhile, a downstate Republican lawmaker says the governor's response to the outbreak at the veteran's home has been inadequate.

The governor boasted about the facility, its staff, and of course the veterans who live there. He discussed changes made to keep the home safe, like chemical treatments for the water, flushing pipes regularly, strictly monitoring residents, and speeding up testing for the disease from four days to a few hours.

However, state Senator Sam McCann, a republican from Plainview, says the governor’s response is too little, too late.

“Instead of being to always try to be in campaign mode, get off the Harley, get off the skates, and do your job," McCann said. "And doing your job would have been to have gone there two and a half years ago and held this press conference.”

The governor opposes closing the home; McCann says he thinks the state should build a new facility in the same location.

On Tuesday, McCann also called for Public Health director Nirav Shah to step down.

In a statement, Dr. Shah says, "I stand behind IDPH’s response at the Veterans’ Home in Quincy and the immediate actions we took to protect the health and safety of veterans and staff. I respectfully disagree with Senator McCann."

The governor's office was not immediately available for comment.