Connect with us

Healthcare

VA Nurse Charged with Manslaughter is Still Working with Patients!

Published

on

A 240-pound Department of Veterans Affairs nurse’s aide charged with manslaughter in the death of a 70-year-old patient was returned to work at the hospital this month three days before hitting the two-year mark of being on paid leave, against the department’s own policy.
The unexplained move seems similar to the department’s past efforts to game statistics rather than fix underlying problems. Powerful congressmen like Sen. Chuck Grassley, an Iowa Republican, have begun routinely requesting spreadsheets from agencies that break down the number of people on paid leave into brackets, such as less than one month, less than six months, and more than two years.
They have identified the VA as a prime abuser of extended paid leave. Two or more years is at the extreme end of the spectrum, and the few employees in that category attract extra attention.
The department previously said that according to its policy, the employee should be on paid leave until his trial in March, 2016.
The Daily Caller News Foundation reported Wednesday that a VA “internal investigation” found that Fredrick Kevin Harris violated no policies and was not “negligent”after an elderly hospitalized veteran died at a Louisiana hospital.
The local coroner, VA inspector general and prosecutors all concluded that manslaughter or worse was involved, and witnesses told them they saw Harris striking the man, who died of blunt force trauma to the head. Harris is out on bail.
Thursday, in response to TheDCNF’s questions, the department told Congress that “[a]ll VA investigative processes were followed. Internal VA investigations look to see if policies and procedures are followed, not for possible criminal activity.”
Separately, VA told The DCNF that the department’s inspector general staff, which is designed to avoid conflicts of interest in “internal investigations,” and whose work can lead to criminal charges, only becomes involved if an internal review finds evidence of criminal activity, a seeming contradiction since they do not look for it.
In this case, however, it was the coroner’s intervention, not the VA internal investigation, that led to a criminal probe by the IG. The incident occurred at the Alexandria, Louisiana VA Medical Center on March 13, 2013.
“On April 5, 2013, he returned to patient care since the internal investigation did not find negligence on the employee’s part. The employee remained in his position until his arrest on December 10, 2013,” the department said.
“In accordance with VA polices, since there was not an indictment, the employee was placed on Administrative Leave until the conclusion of the trial.” The trial is in March, 2016.
But the day after TheDCNF inquired about Harris’s status, and three days before he hit the two-year mark on paid administrative leave, he was returned to the VA workplace.
“The employee bonded out of jail on December 17, 2013. The employee has been on Administrative leave but has since returned to duty in a non-patient care area effective December 7, 2015,” the VA said.
On Dec. 9, Deputy Secretary Sloan Gibson told the House Veterans Affairs Committee that “I have no idea” what Harris’ work status was, but he claimed to have a “sense of urgency” about the two-year old  case.
VA med centerManipulation of administrative leave in the Harris case recalls the VA’s notorious practice of keeping two sets of patient care waiting lists, one that was used for oversight metrics and when calculating employee bonuses, and a second for actual medical appointments. As a result, thousands of veterans were forced to wait months for care, and dozens died before receiving it.
But no high-ranking employees, and only three low-level ones, have been fired. It appears that when the VA wants to appease congressional or media critics, or prevent poor-performing employees from doing further damage, the department pays them to stay home instead of firing them, leading to subsequent pressure from Congress to deal with both administrative leave and employee terminations.
A VA spokesman declined to discuss the return of Harris to work status, but the case suggests manipulating data to create a false impression of the extent to which administrative leave is used.
“What on earth is the VA thinking?” asked Rep. Tom MacArthur, a New Jersey Republican on the Armed Services Committee whose district includes 65,000 veterans. Harris “is still employed and even received paid time off despite serving jail time, and that is truly disgusting,” MacArthur told TheDCNF Thursday.
“Despite increased funding and improved oversight, the VA has demonstrated continued systemic failure and incompetence. It leaves me to wonder what exactly does someone at the VA have to do to get fired, ” MacArthur said.
“Those of us working on legislation to tighten up excessive leave recognize that sometimes leave is the logical choice to protect fellow employees and members of the public. … The point of reforming leave policies is to get agencies to make decisions on leave more quickly, justify their decisions, and be as transparent,” Grassley told TheDCNF.
Senate Veterans Affairs Committee Chairman Sen. Johnny Isakson, a Georgia Republican, did not respond to a request for comment.
 
Source

Don't forget to Like The Washington Sentinel on Facebook and Twitter, and visit our friends at The Republican Legion.

Become an insider!

Sign up for the free Washington Sentinel email newsletter, and we'll make sure to keep you in the loop.

Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Healthcare

China Now Says Virulent Coronavirus Started Earlier, Hit Two Areas at Once

Chinese authorities now say that the dangerous Coronavirus struck nearly a month earlier than initial estimates.

Published

on

Chinese authorities now say that the dangerous Coronavirus struck nearly a month earlier than initial estimates and that it started somewhere other than the Wuhan fish market.

For months, now, China has claimed that the Coronavirus only got into high gear in Wuhan around Chinese New Year, which is January 8. But now a government report says that it appears that there was an earlier outbreak in the first week of December in a different area than Wuhan.

The new info comes from a study published on ChinaXiv, a Chinese open repository for scientific researchers.

Per the Global Times:

[The research] reveals the new coronavirus was introduced to the seafood market from another location, and then spread rapidly from market to market. The findings were the result of analyses of genome-wide data, sources of infection and the route of spread of 93 samples of the novel coronavirus collected from 12 countries across four continents.

This study says that a worker at a biowarfare center accidentally transmitted the virus at the Huanan seafood market early in December.

According to the researchers, the new coronavirus experienced two sudden population expansions, including one on January 6, 2020, which was related to the Chinese New Year’s Day holiday.

An earlier expansion occurred on December 8, implying human-to-human transmission may have started in early December or late November, and then accelerated when it reached the Huanan seafood market.

On January 6, the National Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a second-level emergency response, which the researchers said served as a warning against mass public activity and travel.

The report added that if the warnings had received wider public attention, the number of cases and deaths would have been many times lower.

Unlike past flu viruses, this strain of Coronavirus is still picking up speed instead of waning.

The virus is still surging and has gained a stronger foothold in Italy, and South Korea, and even Iran has now reported eight deaths from the virus.

Per Fox News:

Italian authorities announced they were shutting down carnival events in Venice as at least 133 people have been reported to have been infected with COVID-19 in the country. Nearly all of Italy’s cases are clustered in the north, including in the northeast Veneto region, which includes Venice.

The dozens of newly confirmed cases have caused all schools and universities to be closed not only in Milan, but in the entire region of Lombardy, for an indefinite period of time as movie theaters, concerts and public gatherings have also been banned.

“South Korea announced 169 more cases of the new virus, bringing the country’s total to 602. The country also reported three more fatalities, raising its death toll to six,” Fox reported.

Senator Tom Cotton has voiced serious questions about how well the Chinese have handled this medical emergency.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Facebook at: facebook.com/Warner.Todd.Huston.

Continue Reading

Healthcare

American Authorities Quietly Prepping for US Coronavirus Outbreak

There are serious concerns that the illness is poised for an American renaissance.

Published

on

In the Far East, a nightmare is underway.

A novel strain of the often-dangerous Coronavirus has reared its ugly head, and has been bordering on “pandemic” status for weeks now.  The epicenter is Wuhan, China, where researchers’ best guess is that the illness jumped from bats to humans, (or maybe snakes to humans), at one of the local wildlife markets.

The numbers are terrifying in China, where more than 2,300 have perished at the hands of the virus…and that’s if the numbers being released by Beijing are to be believed.

This strain of Coronavirus has also reached the US, but has been thankfully tame in the States so far.

That hasn’t stopped American authorities from preparing for the worst, however.

In coming weeks, if the virus begins to spread through U.S. communities, health authorities want to be ready to adopt school and business closures like those undertaken in Asian countries to contain the disease, Messonnier said.

“We’re not seeing community spread here in the United States yet, but it’s very possible, even likely, that it may eventually happen,” Messonnier said.

“Our goal continues to be to slow the introduction of the virus into the U.S. This buys us more time to prepare communities for more cases and possibly sustained spread.”

And what about cases here in the US?

The United States currently has 13 cases of people diagnosed with the virus within the country and 21 cases among Americans repatriated on evacuation flights from Wuhan, China, and from the Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan, CDC said.

​Of 329 Americans evacuated from the cruise ship, 18 tested positive for the virus. Eleven of them are at University of Nebraska Medical Center, five are in medical facilities near Travis Air Force Base in California and two are near Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas.

The passengers evacuated from the Diamond Princess were flown to America against the wishes of the CDC, further complicating American efforts to control and contain the virus.

 

Continue Reading

Healthcare

Coronavirus Vaccine Conjured in California Lab in Just Three Hours

While this is excellent news on its face, it raises new concerns regarding China’s capabilities to rein in the virus.

Published

on

The world is on edge, and rightly so:  A virulent pandemic is unfolding in the Far East, well away from the medical professional best and brightest minds, and mired in the tyranny of China’s communist regime.

This latest, novel strain of the Coronavirus is quite deadly, and is spreading at a rapid rate thanks to its 14-day incubation period.  In China, thousands are likely dead, with tens of thousands more now infected.

And these are just the numbers that we know about.  There are very serious concerns that Beijing is deflating these numbers in order to save face.

In news that further illustrates the incompetence of the Chinese government, it has taken only three hours for medical professionals in California to produce a vaccine for the virus.

An American biotech company says it created a coronavirus vaccine three hours after getting access to the virus’ genetic sequence on Jan. 9, and now scientists are racing to get the vaccine on the market in record time.

Inovio Pharmaceuticals is based in Pennsylvania, but scientists in its laboratory in San Diego made the discovery.

“We have an algorithm which we designed, and we put the DNA sequence into our algorithm and came up with the vaccine in that short amount of time,” Inovio’s research and development director Dr. Trevor Smith told KVUE.

China has reported 254 new daily deaths and a spike in new daily virus cases of 15,152, after new methodology was applied in the hardest-hit province of Hubei as to how cases are categorized.

Inovio believes that the vaccine could be ready for consumer use by summer of 2020.

Continue Reading

Healthcare

North Korea’s Secretive Government ‘Clearly Lying’ When it Comes to Coronavirus

Is North Korea a secret coronavirus hot spot?

Published

on

As the recent coronavirus pandemic continues to rage in mainland China, the illness has exhibited a global footprint with cases all the way from Beijing to San Francisco Bay and back again.

For many, the outbreak’s epicenter is a major concern.  China’s communist regime is not known for their forthcomingness, leading global experts to speculate that any information that we are being provided from the far east superpower has been scrubbed, so to speak.

Even more clandestine than China, of course, is North Korea – a despotic hellhole at times, particularly when it comes to issues of modernity in medicine.  Experts are now concerned that the DPRK could be completely misleading the rest of the region as to the impact that the coronavirus has had in the hermit kingdom.

The coronavirus has infected more than 60,000 people across 26 countries after first being discovered in China’s Hubei Province, and yet North Korea, which shares a border with the country where more than 59,000 of those cases and over 1,360 deaths have been reported, claims it does not have a single illness.

Unverified reports about a quarantined person allegedly being executed by the country after visiting a public bath have emerged, as well as a potential first confirmed case, but the government remains steadfast in denying that the virus has reached its borders, which many experts have cast doubt on.

“There is no way that North Korea is not being impacted by the coronavirus — they are clearly lying as they don’t want to show any weakness or that there is any threat to the regime,” Harry Kazianis, director of Korean Studies at the Center for National Interest, told Fox News. “Considering how there are many porous sections of the North Korea-China border — and how the Kim regime depends on illegal trade to survive — it is clear the virus has come to North Korea.”

North Korea has spent decades in a self-imposed exile from the rest of the world, largely in order to keep their citizens properly docile.  Should North Koreans learn of the outside world, it is unlikely that the spell of their dynastic rule would last much longer.

Continue Reading

Healthcare

American Universities Cancel Study Abroad Programs Amid Coronavirus Fears

There appears to be no end in sight for this coronavirus outbreak, and academia is taking extra precautions on account of it.

Published

on

There are growing concerns that the recent outbreak of a novel strain of coronavirus in in the Far East is far worse than authorities abroad are letting on.

The illness, which begins with somewhat benign respiratory issues after a two-week incubation period before evolving into a severe and pneumonia-like sickness, is believed to have originated in Wuhan, China after possible transmission from snakes to humans at one of the city’s wildlife markets.  As it stands today, no cure or preventative vaccine has been identified, and the spread of the virus is simply outpacing the efforts to contain it.

Quarantine seems to be the only effective method to slowing the coronavirus down, and global universities are now taking extra precautions on account of this reality.

From Europe to Australia and the United States, universities in countries that host Chinese students have reconsidered academic-related travel to and from China. In the U.S., the cancellations add to the tension between two governments whose relations were already sour.

The scare threatens to cause lasting damage to growing academic exchange programs that reached new heights over the last decade and a half, experts say.

The travel restrictions also complicate planning for conferences and campus events in the U.S. that scholars from China might attend.

“That door has been, if not slammed shut, certainly closed for the immediate future,” said Michael Schoenfeld, Duke University’s vice president for public affairs and government relations.

The death toll in China is now in the hundreds, but many fear that this number has been artificially deflated in order for the communist regime in Beijing to save face.

In the United States, nearly a dozen cases of the virus have been positively identified, some in major cities such as Chicago and San Francisco.

Continue Reading

Healthcare

Coronavirus Approaching Pandemic Status as China Continues to Lie About Conditions

Medical experts are worried that the Coronavirus is not approaching pandemic status as bodies mount in China and cases grow across the world.

Published

on

Medical experts are worried that the Coronavirus is not approaching pandemic status as bodies mount in China and cases grow across the world.

Researchers are becoming alarmed at how quickly the cases are growing across the globe.

A “pandemic” is a viral outbreak occurring on at least two continents at the same time. They are dangerous because the world’s healthcare resources become strained by having to confront medical emergencies in so many locations all at once.

The virus appears to spread quicker than both SARS and MERS, making it much harder to contain.

“It’s very, very transmissible, and it almost certainly is going to be a pandemic,” said Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease. “But will it be catastrophic? I don’t know.”

As the New York Times reported:

In the last three weeks, the number of lab-confirmed cases has soared from about 50 in China to more than 17,000 in at least 23 countries; there have been more than 360 deaths.

But various epidemiological models estimate that the real number of cases is 100,000 or even more. While that expansion is not as rapid as that of flu or measles, it is an enormous leap beyond what virologists saw when SARS and MERS emerged.

When SARS was vanquished in July 2003 after spreading for nine months, only 8,098 cases had been confirmed. MERS has been circulating since 2012, but there have been only about 2,500 known cases.

But a Chinese nurse who is speaking anonymously because China is arresting anyone who talks to foreigners about what is happening inside the red nation, is warning that China is running out of resources even as the death toll grows.

“I think there are many more infections and deaths from coronavirus than have been officially reported. When preliminary tests determine that a patient has a lung sickness, the nucleic acid test (NAT), which detects viruses, cannot always be carried out because the waiting list is too long. The patient is therefore not diagnosed,” the nurse told DW.com.

“Furthermore, if someone dies from the lung sickness, and has not taken the NAT test, the fatality is not statistically registered as having been caused by the coronavirus,” the nurse added.

So, literally thousands of cases are going unrecorded. And many are dying without their death being added to the statistics.

The nurse also said that building more facilities is not as helpful as one might think because there aren’t enough medical personnel to staff them. So, people are still going untreated because they aren’t being seen even if they are in a hospital!

This is a grave emergency in China, but China is simply lying about how badly they are bing hit.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on facebook.com/Warner.Todd.Huston.

Continue Reading

Healthcare

Rush Limbaugh Has Advanced Lung Cancer

Prayers for Rush and his family.

Published

on

Conservative icon Rush Limbaugh confirmed Monday that he was recently diagnosed with “advanced stage lung cancer,” announcing his medical condition during his live broadcast.

“This day has been one of the most difficult days in recent memory, for me, because I’ve known this moment was coming,” Limbaugh said. “I’m sure that you all know by now that I really don’t like talking about myself and I don’t like making things about me… one thing that I know, that has happened over the 31-plus years of this program is that there has been an incredible bond that had developed between all of you and me.”

“So, I have to tell you something today that I wish I didn’t have to tell you. It’s a struggle for me, because I had to inform my staff earlier today,” he said. “I can’t help but feel that I’m letting everybody down with. The upshot is that I have been diagnosed with advanced lung cancer.”

“I thought about not telling anybody,” he added. “It is what it is. You know me, I’m the Mayor of Realville, so, this has happened and my intention is to come here every day I can, and do this program as normally and competently and expertly as I do each and every day because that is the source of my greatest satisfaction professionally, personally.”

Read the full report at Fox News.

Hateful people attack on Twitter:
Continue Reading

Latest Articles

Become an insider


Best of the Month

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!

Send this to a friend