Dr. Sam Foote, the retired Phoenix Veterans Affairs doctor who blew the whistle on a secret waiting list that kept sick vets in limbo for weeks and months, says he believes the inspector general is currently in possession of the document.
Appearing Thursday on Fox News Channel's "The Kelly File," Foote denied reports by CNN
that the list has been destroyed.
"There's been a lot of talk about shredding, but I'm pretty sure the inspector general has the list," Foote said.
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Three officials of The Phoenix Veterans Health Care Center have been placed on leave
while Foote's allegations are being investigated. According to Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki, those officials are Director Sharon Helman, Associate Director Lance Robinson and another unnamed employee.
CNN reports that sources of its months-long investigation say 1,400 names were put on a paper list and held until an appointment could be made. They then were transferred to an official list.
The purpose of the dual lists was to give the impression that the hospital was not backlogged, but was seeing patients in a timely manner, Foote said. Up to 40 patients may have died, the Associated Press reports.
Foote told Fox News that as late as April 20, two days before the inspector general was to arrive, Robinson and others were working feverishly to transfer people off the secret list.
As late as Tuesday, Helman and her chief of staff Dr. Darren Deering, told CNN there had been no effort to hide wait times.
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