Oh, Look…the VA Fails Veterans Again with Regard to COVID Testing Options

Bruce VanLoon / shutterstock.com
Bruce VanLoon / shutterstock.com

The Veterans Administration should be protecting its veterans. Many veterans are VA-rated, which means they have various medical conditions that are a result of their time in service.

It’s important to look at how veterans are uniquely affected by COVID-19. Many have comorbidities, which are the presence of two or more medical conditions. And, it’s become common knowledge that people who have multiple comorbidities are more likely to experience serious side effects if they contract COVID-19.

As such, we have to protect our veterans. The vaccine is only one aspect since there are plenty of people who have been vaccinated and boosted only to learn that they are COVID positive.

This means that COVID testing options are critical. While some veterans can easily get to a testing center, others cannot. Enter at-home testing kits. It could be just what veterans need to determine if they are negative so that they can socialize with family members or go out into society.

Yet, the VA has failed.

Veterans Affairs officials have announced that they won’t be mailing out any at-home COVID kits.

Testing kits have been in high demand for months as veterans worry about gathering with family. Even now that the holidays have passed, the demand is still high. Omicron is sweeping across the nation and knowing whether people are positive or negative is critical to keeping the veterans safe.

Department leaders within the VA have acknowledged that there’s been a significant number of requests for COVID tests. The VA has said they are “managing the demand for testing and will continue to provide high quality testing services for veterans.”

That’s true, sort of.

The only way that a veteran is going to get a test is if they drive down to one of the VA facilities to get tested. This means driving, and not all veterans have the ability to drive. It also means walking into the facility where they may be exposed on the way to get tested.

Not every major city has a VA facility. Some veterans may be several hours away from a VA facility, which means that it could be a full day’s trip to go to the facility and back to get a test. That’s not exactly a benefit to the veteran. It’s also hard to identify that the VA is truthful when they say they are providing “high quality” services.

A truly high-quality service would be to simply send the at-home tests to the veterans – or at least to the veterans who don’t have access to transportation or live too far away from a facility.

The VA is failing again, which means that most who want to get tested will have to find a spot at a local facility that has nothing to do with VA. Or, they’ll have to wait another month (or two) until the Biden administration figures out how to honor their promise of getting at-home test kits mailed out to Americans across the country.

It’s a shame that the veterans are the ones that have to fight for the tests. They’re some of the most vulnerable, yet that doesn’t matter. Biden will just keep sitting on at-home kits in a warehouse until those tests expire (yes, there are expiration dates) rather than sending them to the veterans who risked everything for our country and our freedom.

And Biden has the audacity to wonder why his approval rating is tanking?