By Steve Vogel and Michael E. Ruane
Washington Post Staff Writers
Thursday, March 22, 2007; Page A01
Reports of a rising death rate and rooms spattered with blood, urine and feces at the Armed Forces Retirement Home prompted the Pentagon yesterday to begin investigating conditions at the veterans facility in Northwest Washington.
The Government Accountability Office warned the Pentagon this week that residents of the home "may be at risk" in light of allegations of severe health-care problems. Residents have been admitted to Walter Reed Army Medical Center with "the most serious type of pressure sores" and, in one case, with maggots in a wound, according to a GAO letter sent to the Defense Department.
Timothy Cox, the chief operating officer for the retirement home, said yesterday that the accusations are "without merit," and he blasted the GAO for making "inflammatory allegations" without investigating them.
Sens. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.) sent a joint letter to Gates on Tuesday saying they were "dismayed" by the GAO letter and calling on Defense "to immediately undertake an independent investigation."
So, apparently "just" allegations at this point, but if the GAO went public with this, I suspect that there is some fire behind the smoke.