“VA is starting to execute its fourth mission of supporting the national COVID-19 response, VA Secretary Robert Wilkie said March 30 during a radio interview.”
“The department recently announced it opened 50 beds to non-Veteran, non-COVID patients to help New York City.”
“The decision came after the state of New York requested federal assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Wilkie said VA also received a request for assistance from New Jersey.”
“Wilkie said as governors make requests for assistance, VA stands ready to respond.”
“The secretary said VA is also helping on the national level. VA received an order from FEMA to take over the pharmaceutical purchase and supply system. VA will be the ‘central supply station’ of medicine and oxygen during the COVID-19 response for FEMA, the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Defense and the Coast Guard.”
Veterans still first
“The secretary said while the fourth mission is important, Veteran care is still VA’s first mission.”
“’Veterans come first,’ Wilkie said. ‘It’s only when we have that excess capacity would we open up our facilities for people outside of VA.’”
“The secretary said the COVID-19 pandemic forced VA to make painful decisions affecting Veterans…” Read the full blog post here.
Source: Secretary: VA starting to execute fourth mission – By Adam Stump, April 2, 2020. VA.