May 08, 2020

Chairman Takano Meets with VVA National President John Rowan to Discuss How Vietnam Veterans are Staying Safe During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Press Contact

Jenni Geurink (202-819-4684)

Miguel R. Salazar

RIVERSIDE, CA –This week, House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs Chairman Mark Takano (D-Calif.) spoke with John Rowan, the Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) National President, to discuss how their members are adapting to the COVID-19 pandemic and social distancing practices-- especially in light of Vietnam veterans being at increased risk of contracting the novel coronavirus as a result of many veterans having pre-existing conditions. See the full conversation with the Vietnam Veterans of America here

 

MT - VVA

 

Watch the full conversation here.

 

“I cherish and value VVA as a partner in helping veterans and cherish your leadership. As you know I have a bunch of your buddies out there in my own district that keep me on the straight and narrow, and I appreciate that.” said Chairman Mark Takano. “One of the things VA is an expert at is geriatrics. They take care of a lot of older patients, so we know how to advise state veterans homes. In many cases VA has even been calling up private nursing facilities that have veteran residents and offering to help those homes. They’ve been venturing into the Fourth Mission, and I’ve been making sure that I encourage both the Secretary and Dr. Stone to keep taking this forward looking stance. The baby boomer generation within Vietnam veterans should be leading their neighbors in responsible social distancing. I sense your members are out there setting good examples and leading their neighbors, and I want to thank them for that.” 


“Well thank you very much for speaking with me. Our members know that once you’ve been in the military and been in certain places in your life, you know social distancing is not too much of a hardship,” said VVA National President John Rowan. “Every time we talk to members, we try make sure that they’re social distancing. I think that most of us understand that we have issues, we’re older-- the classic person that this disease wants to kill. So I think most of them are smart enough to stay indoors and out of the way, and that seems to be what I hear when I talk to my people around the country. I have been concerned about the state run veterans homes, though--the numbers are staggering. Unfortunately, that’s where the most deaths occur. We need to make sure we have oversight on what VA money is being spent on. Now that we know that such a problem occurs, we need to get a handle on it.”

 

For more information about the Committee’s efforts to address the COVID-19 crisis and resources for available for veterans, please visit: https://veterans.house.gov/covid-19.

 

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