CHARLESTON, W. Va. (WOWK) — It was a mixture of anger and shock as Congress officially launched its investigation of problems with the Veterans Administration nationwide. West Virginia topping the list after several suspicious deaths of veterans at the VA Medical Center in Clarksburg and the investigation into charges of sexual assault on patients at the VA in Beckley.
“The deaths of Lewis a Johnson VA medical center in Clarksburg, West Virginia and the sexual assault allegations in Beckley West Virginia, VA medical center are not only troubling but they are unacceptable,” said Rep. Carol Miller, (R-West Virginia).
Several veterans died in Clarksburg after being injected with insulin they did not need. Three of those cases are now considered homicides. But victims’ families were not notified by the VA.
“So what actions if any has the VA taken to inform veterans or their next of kin who may have suffered unexplained hypoglycemic events or even deaths at the Clarksburg VAMC?” said Committee Chairman Rep. Mark Takano (D-California).
Dr. Steven Lieberman, of the Veterans Health Administration, said, “So we have not reached out to anyone as this is an active investigation.”
Members of Congress are also concerned about reports that Insulin and other medicines were left out on the open at the VA in Clarksburg, instead of being locked up.
“It’s just unconscionable some of the rumors of the practices. We need to see the full report before we can say exactly what’s gone on. We need to do the investigations,” said Sen. Shelley Moore Capitol, (R-West Virginia)
While a person of interest is being looked at in the three Clarksburg homicides, no arrests have been made.
This was the first Congressional hearing into the VA deaths in Clarksburg but it won’t be the last. Members of Congress are being careful not to interfere with the criminal investigation, but they want to find out about any failed medical practices or procedures in the VA system.
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