Rep. Rosendale to Newsmax: Doctors Sent to Border, VA Centers Closing

Rep. Rosendale to Newsmax: Doctors Sent to Border, VA Centers Closing matt rosendale smiles Rep. Matt Rosendale (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

By Sandy Fitzgerald | Wednesday, 27 April 2022 09:04 AM

Rep. Matt Rosendale Wednesday on Newsmax slammed plans to close a Veterans Affairs long-term care center in Miles City, Montana, saying the decision stems from "all of the problems we are seeing take place on the southern border," referring to rumors of doctors being sent there to care for migrants entering the country illegally.

"This is why everyone across the country needs to understand that even if you're not a border state, you are experiencing border issues," the Montana Republican said on Newsmax's "Wake Up America. "The example of the veterans' facility in Miles City is just another example of that."

Rosendale's comments came after he retweeted a story Tuesday about the facility being temporarily closed over patient safety concerns.

In the message, he commented that he is "deeply concerned by the VA’s decision to temporarily close the care facility in Miles City while there are rumors of VA medical professionals being sent to the southern border to provide care for illegal aliens crossing over the southern border."

In the story, published by the Billings Gazette, the newspaper reported that the Miles City facility was "temporarily closed" last week after the VA's regional office got a self-report from the hospital in December after concerns for patient safety were received.

The veterans there are being moved to other facilities or private nursing homes, and the VA plans to recruit and increase staffing requirements to a level necessary to reopen the facility, reports the newspaper. It did not mention any concerns that the facility was closed because doctors are being relocated to the border.

The VA earlier this year announced plans to close medical centers in Ohio, New York, and Massachusetts as part of a huge overhaul of its medical service.

But Rosendale told Newsmax that Montana, being rural and having limited resources, needs its veterans' centers, and if veterans lose yet another facility it is a "major problem."

"We see our veterans driving hundreds of miles just to try and get these benefits," said Rosendale, noting that there is just one facility, VA Hospital at Fort Harrison near Helena they can use in the state.

"I was in the Veterans Affairs Committee yesterday," said Rosendale. "At the same time we see them spending billions of dollars with a company that has not delivered their product to produce an electronic health record system, we see Veterans Affairs closing down facilities like that and diverting those resources down to the southern border."

Rosendale also called on the Biden administration to keep the Title 42 health restriction policy active on the border, not only to fight against COVID-19 but other diseases.

"That is a public health statute and it should be in place all of the time," he said. "If someone is coming from a country that's demonstrated that they should have concerns about communicable diseases being brought into our country, then they should be detained at the border."

Title 42, though, is just a "small part of the puzzle" to ensure the border is secured.

"The rules of engagement that our border patrol are being forced to use in order to just allow people to invite people and they have become the largest travel agency in the world," said Rosendale.

He also noted that while there are some Democrats who oppose lifting Title 42, there are other provisions enacted by former President Donald Trump that they don't want to keep, such as the remain in Mexico policy.

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