Maine Delegation Calls on VA Secretary to Prioritize Testing, PPE for Maine VA Health System

May 4, 2020
Press Release

U.S. Senators Susan Collins and Angus King and Representatives Chellie Pingree and Jared Golden wrote to Veterans Affairs (VA) Secretary Robert Wilkie, urging him to continue to prioritize providing additional testing kits and personal protective equipment (PPE) at the VA Maine Healthcare System and across the entire Veterans Health Administration.

“The staff and leadership at Togus in Maine are committed to serving their patients during this crisis, fulfilling their mission to care for our veterans with skill, compassion, readiness, and perseverance.  However, like many hospitals in Maine, there is an ongoing shortage of COVID-19 testing capabilities and adequate PPE,” wrote the Maine Delegation.  “As you acquire and distribute more testing capability, we urge you to prioritize tests that provide extremely rapid results, in a matter of minutes or hours rather than days or weeks, and ensure that such tests are distributed to VA Maine and other VA facilities in need.”

“We stand ready in Congress to support VA in its efforts to expand the availability of COVID-19 rapid testing kits and PPE to its employees and veterans,” the Delegation continued. 

The VA faces particular risks to its patient population, as veterans using the VA health care system are often older.  VA operates more than 100 Community Living Centers, which, like other nursing homes, are especially vulnerable. 

Click HERE to read the full letter.