U.S. Congressman Brian Mast (FL-18) today again pushed the Department of Veterans Affairs for answers on deadly security lapses at the West Palm Beach VA and other VA facilities across the country. Watch the exchange from a Veterans Affairs Congressional hearing here.
The follow-up letter is included below:
June 11, 2019
The Honorable Richard A. Stone, M.D.
Executive in Charge, Veterans Health Administration
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
810 Vermont Ave NW
Washington, DC 20571
Dear Dr. Stone:
Following recent incidents of violence at the West Palm Beach VA Medical Center, I am writing to request a detailed outline of the VA’s plans to improve security at the facility.
Like you, I am committed to ensuring that veterans receiving care at the West Palm Beach VA—and VA facilities across the country—are being treated in an environment that is safe and secure. Sadly, however, we have seen in recent months how the government has failed to uphold that commitment.
As you may know, on February 27, 2019 a man armed with a handgun at the West Palm Beach VA Medical Center opened fire in an emergency room. Following this episode, I was assured by the VA that security measures at the West Palm Beach facility would be revamped to prevent these types of incidents from occurring again. I would like to request a comprehensive outline of the changes that will be made at the Medical Center following those incidents and how they improve from the standards that were in place prior to the incidents.
Please provide this information no later than July 15, 2019. I appreciate your timely consideration of this request and, most importantly, your commitment to the safety and security of our veterans and VA staff.
Member of Congress
cc: The Honorable Robert Wilkie
Following the incidents at the West Palm Beach VA, Rep. Mast has been actively pushing the VA for answers and solutions. You can watch his previous exchange with VA Secretary Robert Wilkie here.