President Donald Trump vowed on the campaign trail that he was going to fix the issues plaguing the Department of Veterans Affairs — and he has honored that promise in a big way.
VA Secretary Robert Wilkie revealed that thousands of sub-par employees at the Veterans’ Affairs have been fired since Trump took office — over 8,000, to be exact.
Wilkie said the firings are part of the Trump administration’s ongoing clean-up effort to hold the notoriously corrupt agency accountable.
Calling the move a “transformational moment” at a press conference on efforts to improve VA care, Wilkie said: “This is, I think, one of the strongest statements that we can make: That it is a new day at VA.”
Wilkie hailed the firings as proof that Trump is working to increase transparency after the VA’s recent scandals.
“Accountability. In this president’s term, we have relieved over 8,000 employees of their duty at VA. The standard is, if you don’t live up to your oath, if you don’t live up to the standards that our veterans expect, that you will be asked to leave,” he said.
Back in October, Trump detailed at a rally a few of the horrific instances that happened to veterans years ago when Barack Obama was in office.
The president boasted about his administration’s willingness to fire “bad people” at the VA.
“Do you remember all of the bad stories that used to be about the VA?” Trump asked. “Now you don’t see that because they have accountability. We can fire bad people. We fired a tremendous number of really bad people that should’ve been fired years ago. I don’t like firing people, but I like firing people that don’t treat our vets great, that aren’t doing their job.”
Wilkie went on to detail the steps taken by the Trump administration to improve VA services, citing the “highest” VA patient satisfaction rate in history at roughly 90 percent, the largest budget in the VA’s history, wait times comparable to those at private hospitals, and increased access to urgent care.
He also touted Trump’s MISSION act, which gives veterans more freedom to seek care in the private sector, as foundational to reform efforts.
“This puts veterans at the center of their healthcare decisions, not the institutional prerogatives of VA, but veterans,” he said. “We finally give veterans the option of going into the private sector, if VA cannot provide them the healthcare that they need, or they live too far away from a VA Health Center that would not be conducive to their needs or their family’s needs.”
Wilkie said it was an “honor” to serve in Trump’s administration, praising him for putting veterans’ care at the top of his priority list.
“There has never been a President who has given this much attention to America’s veterans or allowed for more transformation to go on in the lives of veterans in this department than this President has,” he said.
This was long overdue, and it’s a shame that Obama never did anything about the failures at the VA.
But now we finally have a president tackling these major issues that have harmed countless veterans.