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Sen. Durbin Slams Gov. Rauner For Legionnaires Disease Response


Illinois U.S. Senator Dick Durbin is again criticizing Governor Bruce Rauner’s handling of Legionnaires’ disease at a veterans home, saying “We need solutions, not cover-ups.”

Durbin’s statement comes after WBEZ published a 2015 email from Nirav Shah - the state’s public health director. In it he writes agency officials waited six days after they knew an epidemic was on their hands at the Quincy veterans’ home before publicizing it.

In a statement, Durbin writes “There have been a series of unacceptable errors by Governor Rauner and his administration.”

Rauner has maintained his administration has followed the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for addressing outbreaks.

But Durbin says the director of the CDC told him more test results and recommendations are coming.


Amesh Adalja is an infectious disease expert with Johns Hopkins University. He tells WBEZ that public health officials should notify the public immediately when it’s clear there’s an epidemic.


"It really, to me, is not the standard of care to wait that time out and wait until the last minute like you’re mailing in your tax return," Adalja said.