A U.S. senator is checking up on work to rid the Illinois Veterans’ Home in Quincy of the deadly legionella bacteria.
Sen. Dick Durbin said federal experts will be at the home this week to do their own inspection of the grounds and the work being done to get rid of the legionella bacteria. Durbin said representatives from the federal Veterans Administration will determine if there’s anything they can add to the current solution.
So far, 13 veterans have died from Legionnaire’s disease at the home, and dozens more have been sickened since 2015.
Durbin said a solution is desperately needed.
"I’m not an expert in communicable disease, and these folks are," Durbin said. "In fact, they had made this offer over the last several years and couldn’t find any takers. I’m glad now the state of Illinois is welcoming them in."
Durbin also weighed in on Gov. Bruce Rauner’s recent visit to the home.
"Of course the governor should inspect state facilities. That’s his responsibility. But, it’s no time for a victory lap, it’s no time for self-congratulations, it’s no time for a convenient sleepover. It’s time to roll up our sleeves and get down to work. 13 veterans and their spouses lost their lives," Durbin said.
Durbin said the federal government is prepared to 60 percent reimbursement for work done at the Illinois Veterans’ Home.
He added that this inspection will put federal authorities in a better position to recommend the construction funds that are needed.