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You are watching: How many veterans died waiting for care

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Republican Donald trump card promised to overhaul the department of Veterans Affairs throughout an Oct. 31 decided in Norfolk, Va.


Donald Trump involved the U.S. Marine stronghold of Norfolk on Halloween afternoon come announce his arrangement to resolve the "disaster" at the department of Veterans Affairs.

"The present state that the department of Veterans to work is certain unacceptable," Trump said at a rally in prior of the retirement battleship USS Wisconsin. "Over 300,000 - and also this is hard to believe, and also it’s in reality much much more than that now - end 300,000 veterans died waiting for care."

We determined to inspect Trump’s claim, which likewise has been made by Carly Fiorina, one of his rivals because that the 2016 Republican presidential nomination.

Trump’s campaign didn’t respond come our inquiry for an ext information, but it’s a for sure bet the his explain was based upon a Sept. 2 report by the VA’s Office the Inspector basic that denounced the agency’s record-keeping mechanism as "inadequate."

The inspector general’s investigation, as provided by The Washington Post’s reality Checker in September, was prompted by whistleblower complaints about backlogs in offering services in ~ the VA. The probe focused on operations at the agency’s health and wellness Eligibility Center, which is defined as the "authoritative mechanism for veterans’ wellness enrollment and eligibility information." the holds about 22.3 million records.

The report uncovered that as of Sept. 30, 2014, 866,879 documents were provided as "pending," a status offered to VA applications that room incomplete - usually because they absence financial information. The those records, 307,173 pertained to individuals who had actually been reported dead by the Social protection Administration.

So yes sir a basis for Trump’s number, yet the number is very complex. The report claims the VA’s record-keeping to be so shoddy that there’s no method of learning how countless of the 307,000 actually were waiting to be enrolled because that VA health treatment when castle died.

The agency’s enrollment database was began in 1998 and also includes pending papers on veterans who died prior to that year, back the report does not say exactly how many. The inspector general found, for example, that one veteran who died in 1988 quiet was provided with a pending VA applications in 2014.

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Adding to the complication is that in 2013, the agency included into the entrance center’s database "millions" of records from various other arms the the VA. Many of these records finished up in the pending file, according to the report, yet software glitches made it difficult for investigators to determine how many of the records pertained to veterans seeking health services.