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Marco Rubio urges Haley VA to deal with rat infestation

With rats falling from the kitchen ceiling at the James A. Haley VA Medical Center, Sen. Marco Rubio Monday urged the hospital's interim director to resolve pest control issues.
 
Rubio said he was "alarmed" by a Tampa Bay Times report Saturday that three rats fell through the ceiling of the kitchen of the Department of Veterans Affairs hospital last week during work to install new fire sprinklers. Internal hospital emails from the facility's infection chief also said Haley has a cockroach infestation.
 
"Improved conditions at" Haley "are critical for veterans in the Tampa Bay area," Rubio wrote in a letter to Haley interim director Sallie Houser-Hanfelder. "I respectfully ask you to direct your full attention to ensuring that the facility's pest issues are resolved and that you do everything in your capacity ... to improve the conditions for all veterans who come to your facility."
 
The Miami Republican and presidential candidate pointedly reminded Houser-Hanfelder that he had introduced legislation last year to give the VA greater authority to fire or demote managers responsible for poor care of veterans, which President Obama subsequently signed into law.
 
"Stories such as this remind us of how much work remains ahead for the VA in order to adequately meet its obligation to our veterans," the letter said.
 

 
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