Yesterday, Lt. Gen. Kevin Kiley, the Army’s top medical official, was appointed acting head of Walter Reed hospital. As ThinkProgress documented, Kiley has known for years about the neglect and deplorable conditions at Walter Reed. Kiley was personally told about injured veterans who were “languishing and lost on the grounds,” sharing drugs and “drinking themselves to death,” and reportedly did nothing to address the problems. In one stunning case, Kiley took no action when personally informed that a soldier was sleeping in his own urine.
In a statement released moments ago, Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY) became the first member of Congress to call on the Pentagon to immediately remove Kiley from his post at Walter Reed:
“The Department of Defense needs to make a choice: does it care about our wounded veterans, or does it care about public relations?” Rep. Slaughter said today. “While I was glad to see that initial steps had been taken to change the leadership at Walter Reed, yesterday’s news of Mr. Kiley’s appointment was simply baffling. How can a man who stood by for years while American soldiers suffered needlessly be expected to enact real reforms?”
“The outrage of the American public over the conditions at Walter Reed will not be pacified by simply shuffling the deck,” Rep. Slaughter said. “Secretary Gates must immediately remove from command anyone who allowed its facilities to fall into such a state of disrepair.”
“Our wounded soldiers deserve nothing less than the best health care this country can provide and the best leadership to ensure they receive that care.”
Read the full statement HERE.