Jim Webb of Virginia, a former Democratic senator and secretary of the Navy, calls the scandal at Veterans' Affairs hospitals across the country, in which veterans allegedly have died while awaiting treatment "a leadership question."
"It's troubling to me, it's very troubling to me — as a leadership question, even more than a policy question," Webb said on "Fox & Friends" on the Fox News Channel.
"When I arrived in the Senate, there was a 600,000-case backlog for people waiting for claims to be resolved. And when I left the Senate, there was a 900,000-case backlog," he said.
Webb said that the leaders need to be called on to fix the problem.
"You got to put your leaders on your problem, that's one thing they teach you in the Marine Corps over and over again," the Vietnam War veteran explained. "If you have a problem, put your good leaders on the problem and fix the problem."
According to allegations, secret wait lists were kept at several VA hospitals throughout the country to make it look as if patients were not waiting more than the required 14-day period, while in some cases they were actually waiting months. At the VA hospital in Phoenix, Arizona
, 40 patients allegedly died while waiting to see a doctor.
Webb said he's "been working on veterans issues all my adult life."
He said he was the first Vietnam veteran to serve as a full committee counsel on the House Veterans Affairs Committee, and he also served on the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee during his single term in Congress.
Webb just released his latest book, "I Heard My Country Calling: A Memoir."
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