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Castro calls for Shah’s resignation; state public health department needs new leadership (VIDEO)

castro 050417SPRINGFIELD – The director of Illinois’ public health agency should resign, State Senator Cristina Castro said today, pointing to new information that calls into question his priorities and his ability to lead in a crisis.

Castro (D-Elgin) is urging Illinois Public Health Director Nirav Shah to resign after emails emerged, as reported by WBEZ radio, regarding the Rauner administration’s bungled response to the Legionnaires’ epidemic at the Illinois Veterans Home at Quincy.

Castro said she is deeply concerned about the way Shah and others handled the disease outbreak and the deaths of 13 veterans.

“Illinois needs a public health director whose top priority is solving public health problems, not what social media says about him,” Castro said. “I wish he was as concerned about saving lives at the Quincy veterans home as he was about saving his own tail. It’s time for Director Shah to resign.”

Emails obtained through an open records request and made public today detailed correspondence between Shah, the state Veterans’ Affairs Department and the governor’s office in the wake of the 2015 outbreak at the home. The conversation focused mainly on public perception of the crisis, rather than on solutions and protection for residents and staff.  

Sen. Cristina Castro

Senator Cristina Castro

22nd Senate District

Years served: 2017 - Present

Committee assignments: Appropriations I; Commerce and Economic Development; Committee of the Whole; Energy and Public Utilities; Labor; Revenue (Vice-Chairperson); Transportation; Veterans Affairs (Chairperson).

Associated Representative(s):
Anna Moeller
Fred Crespo