In the end, even VA Secretary Eric Shinseki knew he had to go, President Obama said in announcing the resignation of his only VA secretary over a growing scandal. Eric Shinseki resigned Friday as the head of the Department of Veterans Affairs, leaving behind the daunting task of repairing a broken health care system that has left thousands of veterans at risk as they wait for medical care.
Shinseki’s resignation as concluded a firestorm of criticism and growing calls for him to step down following revelations of sometimes deadly delays for veterans waiting for care at VA hospitals, allegations exposed by CNN in a series of exclusive reports.
Details of the delays were first exposed by CNN last November in an investigation into two VA hospitals in the Southeast. Since then, CNN’s reporting has expanded to include numerous other VA hospitals, culminating with details about secret waiting lists at the Phoenix VA that may have played a role in the deaths of 40 veterans.
New details about Shinseki resignation
President Barack Obama went before reporters at the White House minutes after meeting with Shinseki, saying the retired Army general told him “the VA needs new leadership” to address widespread issues that were chronicled in new reports this week. Obama said Shinseki “does not want to be a distraction.”