Steil Statement on Underreported Deaths in Wisconsin Long-Term Care Facilities

March 19, 2021
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Congressman Bryan Steil (WI-01) joined CBS 58 last night to discuss recent reports that the State of Wisconsin underreported nearly 1,000 COVID deaths in long-term care facilities. This news follows Steil’s efforts to investigate the coronavirus outbreak and deaths at the state-run Wisconsin Veterans Home at Union Grove. Watch Steil’s interview here.  

“While national attention has focused on Governor Cuomo’s failure to protect seniors in New York, deaths in Wisconsin long-term care facilities have been underreported. Seniors, especially those in nursing homes and assisted living facilities, are at high risk, yet the Evers administration has operated under inaccurate and misleading data for months.

“Health care decisions must be made based on sound science and accurate data. The Evers administration has operated under misleading data throughout the crisis resulting in a lack of attention to the people who need help the most. At the Union Grove Veterans Home, the Evers administration denied federal assistance before the first outbreak occurred. Ignoring a problem, refusing resources, and using misleading and inaccurate data only makes the problem worse. Governor Evers must provide transparency as to who in his administration was responsible for the inaccurate data,” said Steil.

Earlier this week, Steil joined members of the Wisconsin delegation urging Governor Evers for answers as to why Wisconsin is reported to be last in the nation when it comes to distributing full vaccine doses to seniors in assisted living homes.

In August, following reports that three residents died at the Wisconsin Veterans Home at Union Grove, Steil called on then-U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie to conduct an investigation into the coronavirus outbreak.

In November, Steil received a response from U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Wilkie regarding the outbreak. Wilkie informed Steil that in May, prior to the August COVID outbreak at the Union Grove home, the federal government offered assistance to combat coronavirus. The federal assistance was denied by the State of Wisconsin. In response to this new information, Steil asked the Wisconsin Secretary of Veterans Affairs for additional information. Steil has yet to receive a response.