July 28, 2020
U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) and Representative Markwayne Mullin (OK-02) made the following statements today after an update from the Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs on their response to coronavirus, specifically regarding the impact at the Claremore Veterans Center. View the update press release here.
“Our veterans deserve the high quality care they have earned. Period,” said Inhofe. “After my office learned of the situation at the Claremore Veterans Center, we were highly concerned and immediately contacted the Governor’s team and the appropriate state and federal entities to offer any assistance necessary. As a state operated facility, I appreciate the willingness of the Oklahoma Secretary of Veterans Affairs and his team to promptly bring in the Oklahoma State Department of Health to implement any needed reforms to slow the spread of coronavirus in the facility and provide the best quality care for all patients. I will continue to collaborate with their teams in Oklahoma and ensure they have access to federal assistance moving forward if needed.”
“I am thankful the Claremore Veterans Center has taken swift action to address the tragic outbreak of COVID-19 cases and deaths at the facility in the last month,” said Lankford. “Claremore’s management team is working directly with ODVA and the Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) to curb the spread and protect veterans, their families, and staff at the center. COVID-19 poses a difficult situation and a serious, unique threat to each veteran care facility. I am grateful for ODVA’s diligent efforts to keep facilities clean and safe and immediately address this spread. I will continue to work with the Oklahoma congressional delegation to ensure the State, Claremore Veterans Center and ODVA have what they need to keep our veterans safe.”
“The outbreak of COVID-19 cases stemming from the Claremore Veterans Center was extremely concerning. I am relieved ODVA immediately saw the issues at hand, took the necessary steps to fix the problems and will ensure something like this does not happen again,” Mullin said. “I am confident in the leadership of the ODVA and Governor Stitt and their commitment to Oklahoma’s veterans. We owe no greater debt than to those who have served our country and they deserve the highest quality of care.”
“The Department of Veterans Affairs will continue to work closely with the state nursing home in Claremore and the Oklahoma State Health Department to ensure Veterans receive the best possible care,” said VISN-19 Director Ralph Gigliotti, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. “Our first priority is a safe environment for Veterans and we will work closely with the state of Oklahoma to ensure they deliver that kind of care. We are all in this together. VA will continue to provide guidance and expertise as needed during these unprecedented times.”