Veterans Affairs Sec. not budging despite allegations of 40 deaths

BY Associated Press  May 8, 2014 at 10:27 AM EDT
File photo of Veterans Administration Secretary Eric K. Shinseki on May 21, 2012. Creative Commons photo by the Department of Defense / Petty Officer 1st Class Chad J. McNeeley via flickr. https://www.flickr.com/photos/secdef/7245888464

Veterans Administration Secretary Eric K. Shinseki answers questions during a press conference on May 21, 2012. Creative Commons photo by the Department of Defense / Petty Officer 1st Class Chad J. McNeeley via flickr.

Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki is brushing aside calls for his resignation in the wake of reports of 40 deaths because of delayed treatment at a Phoenix VA hospital.

But in an interview with CBS News, Shinseki acknowledges the controversy, says it “makes me angry” and vows to get to the bottom of it.

The American Legion and some in Congress have called for Shinseki’s ouster because of the uproar over the agency’s performance. Shinseki, a retired Army general, told CBS that he sent inspectors to Phoenix immediately when he learned of reports about the deaths.

The secretary said, quote, “I take every one of these incidents and allegations seriously, and we’re going to go and investigate.”

The White House has voiced support amid the calls for his ouster.