Facts trump gossip.
The Atlantic’s editor-in-chief Jeffrey Goldberg on Sept. 3 cited four anonymous sources who claimed that President Donald J. Trump canceled a Nov. 10, 2018 visit to a World War I cemetery in France because the American GIs there were "losers" and "suckers," and, Goldberg asserted, Trump "feared his hair would become disheveled in the rain."
At least 13 former or current U.S. officials who were in Paris with the president have stepped up and, by name, refuted The Atlantic’s vicious story.
Instead, they corroborate Trump’s explanation: Bad weather jeopardized helicopter travel, and the U.S. Secret Service inveighed against a 90- to 120-minute drive each way, partially on rural roads.
An unidentified military aide’s contemporaneous e-mail also cites hazardous weather and, thus, backs Trump.
Thus, Trump crushes The Atlantic, 14-4.
Team Trump’s dismantlement of this disgusting fabrication offers the perfect occasion to compare President Trump’s care and concern for America’s veterans with the deadly neglect that they suffered under the Obama-Biden administration.
—President Trump signed the VA Mission Act, which consolidated seven health programs into one. It liberated vets to avoid waiting at VA facilities and instead receive immediate care among private providers. This law also expanded telehealth and connected vets to countless doctors, from "Anywhere to Anywhere."
—The president authorized VA Accountability legislation, which speeds the discipline and punishment of inept, corrupt, or sadistic VA employees.
Trump subsequently has told some 7,600 such shady staffers, "You’re Fired!"
—Trump approved the "Forever GI Bill," ending deadlines and letting vets use their educational benefits throughout their lives.
—He has forgiven the student debts of some 50,000 permanent and totally disabled veterans.
President Trump’s pro-veteran policies are the antidote to Obama-Biden’s toxic treatment of America’s beloved veterans. The previous administration ran a veritable killing field for vets.
As a Sept. 3, 2015 CNN.com headline claimed, "307,000 Veterans May Have Died Awaiting Veterans Affairs Healthcare, Report Says."
The VA’s Inspector General discovered that — as of Sept. 30, 2014 — 307,173 veterans in the VA’s enrollment system died before being approved.
Among these, 18,100 perished between 2010 and 2012, and 30,706 passed away between 2012 and 2014. So, under Obama-Biden, 48,806 vets died while "pending" a "final determination status."
According to CNN, "An internal VA investigation in 2010 found staffers had hidden veterans’ applications in their desks so they could process them at a later time, but human resources later recommended the staffers responsible not be disciplined."
"People who fought, and who earned the right to VA health care, were never given VA healthcare," Scott Davis of the VA Health Eligibility Center told CNN in September 2015.
"They literally died while waiting for VA to process their healthcare application.” CNN reported that Davis "alerted the White House and senior officials at the VA, but was ignored."
Under Obama-Biden, as of May 2014, delays and mismanagement contributed to the preventable deaths of at least three veterans at VA medical centers in Atlanta, six others in Columbia, South Carolina; and 40 more in Phoenix.
Even worse, administrators in VA hospitals where vets suffered stomach-turning medical abuses or died while awaiting treatment were not immediately sacked.
Instead, they savored promotions and bonuses under Obama-Biden.
—Sharon Helman directed Phoenix’s deadly VA Health Care System. She initially was placed on administrative leave. She scored a $9,345 bonus atop her $196,000 salary. She eventually was dismissed, not for running a killer hospital, but for not disclosing $50,000 in gifts from a lobbyist, among other unrelated crimes.
—Notwithstanding the American Legion’s dismissed complaints, chronic management errors, and a Legionnaire’s disease outbreak that infected 20 veterans and killed six others, Pittsburgh VA hospital chief Terry Gerigk Wolf earned her $179,700 base salary, a perfect performance review, and a 2011 bonus of $12,924. That year, the August 23, 2013 Washington Examiner reported, Wolf’s boss, Regional Director Michael Moreland, scored a $15,619 bonus.
—Despite American Legion warnings, local veterans’ protests, and three preventable patient deaths that the VA inspector general tied to deep mismanagement, Atlanta VA hospital chief James Clark collected $65,000 in bonuses over four years.
—On Columbia, South Carolina, VA Regional Director Carl Hawkins’ watch, disability-claim backlogs doubled, and at least 95 related documents wrongly were shredded. So what? Beyond Hawkins’ $165,300 salary, his 2007 through 2011 bonuses totaled $79,275
—In the 60 VA offices that Diana Rubens oversaw, backlogged disability-benefit claims nearly septupled. Whatever! From 2007 to 2011, she won bonuses of $96,896.
The Atlantic got it perfectly backwards: As 700-plus vets attested in an open letter, President Trump has honored and benefited them and their brothers and sisters in uniform. Meanwhile, Obama-Biden treated America’s veterans like losers and suckers.
This column was filed Sept. 10, 2020 and updated on Sept. 11, 2020.
Deroy Murdock is a Manhattan-based Fox News Contributor, a contributing editor with National Review Online, and a senior fellow with the London Center for Policy Research. Read Deroy Murdock's Reports — More Here.
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