(ST. LOUIS, AP) — Vice President Joe Biden told veterans gathered in St. Louis on Monday that the Obama administration won’t rest until major problems at the Veterans Affairs Department get fixed.
Biden spoke at a convention of the Veterans of Foreign Wars. He said the country has learned that there are “many, many” things that must be done to fix the VA.
Biden said acting Veterans Affairs Secretary Sloan Gibson will speak in depth Tuesday about the VA’s difficult condition and what’s being done to correct it. Gibson is also scheduled to visit the St. Louis VA hospital Tuesday afternoon.
The St. Louis facility has been the subject of scrutiny after a federal whistleblower, the former chief of psychiatry, said psychiatrists and psychologists were seeing too few patients, adding to long wait times for veterans. The VA has said it is investigating the claim.
Biden said the government’s only truly sacred obligation is to equip those sent to war and to care for them and their families when they return.
Gibson took over in May amid an uproar over treatment delays and other problems at VA facilities nationwide, including reports that dozens died awaiting treatment.
Biden lauded the credentials of Robert McDonald, the nominee for Veterans Affairs secretary, and urged Congress to quickly confirm him.
About 12,000 people are in St. Louis for the national convention.