U.S. Representative Tulsi Gabbard has called for the director of Hawaii's Veterans Affairs administration to resign, her office confirmed to Hawaii News Now on Monday morning.
Congresswoman Gabbard released the following statement on Friday morning:
"In this urgent crisis, there should be zero tolerance for lies or misrepresentation about the dire situation our veterans are facing in Hawai‘i," said Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, twice-deployed combat veteran. "I wrote to Acting VA Secretary Gibson today to share my serious concerns about the handling of information on wait times in Hawai‘i, and the dishonest statements made to me and my office by local VA Pacific Islands Health Care System leadership. I have zero confidence that the current director of the VA PIHCS, Mr. Wayne Pfeffer, understands the severity of this problem, nor is he taking urgent action to address this crisis by expediting access to non-VA care for wait-listed veterans. He has been dishonest with me and the public, and has not been forthright or transparent with information. As such, I am calling for VA PIHCS Director Wayne Pfeffer to be fired, a qualified director be appointed, and for a thorough review of the cause for the excessive 145-day wait times."
Gabbard's comments came hours after Sen. Brian Schatz told Hawaii News Now that he had heard allegations that VA adminstrators told hospital staffers at the Spark M. Matsunaga VA Medical Center in Honolulu "asked staff to wipe their computers clean regarding patient wait times."
We will have more information on this developing story as soon as it becomes available.
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