An independent report on the outbreak COVID-19 at the Soldiers' Home in Holyoke that cost the lives of 76 veterans is "gut wrenching" to read and "utterly shameful," said Gov. Charlie Baker on Wednesday.
"Today the loss of life is difficult to even think or speak about. The events that took place at the Holyoke Soldiers' Home in March, are truly horrific, and tragic," Baker said at a press conference on Wednesday.
The 174-page report by former federal prosecutor Mark Pearlstein was commissioned by the Baker-Polito administration as the full scope of the tragedy occurring at the nursing home became apparent in March.
Superintendent Bennett Walsh was put on immediate administrative leave on March 29 and Secretary of Veterans Services Francisco Urena had been asked to resign by Baker ahead of the report's release on Wednesday. Baker called it an "abject failure of leadership" starting with superintendent and said steps are being made to remove Walsh permanently.
He also admitted that his administration and the Department of Veterans Services failed to properly oversee the facility.
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