President Obama on Friday acknowledged that the Veterans Affairs Department has “more work to do” to regain the trust of veterans.
Speaking from a hospital in Phoenix where patients allegedly endured long waiting times for care that were subsequently covered up by officials, Obama said the department’s new leadership was “chipping away” at the problems.
“We all know that there have been significant problems at this facility, that the kind of cooking the books and the unwillingness to face up to the fact … went on too long,” Obama said after a closed-door roundtable discussion at the Carl T. Hayden VA Medical Center.
The president said that “trust is one of those things that you lose real quick and then it takes some time to build.”
An investigation last May found that veterans at the Phoenix facility had waited an average of 115 days for initial doctor appointments, even though official data claimed the wait time was only 24 days.