An additional 18 veterans died after long waits for care at the Veterans Affairs Phoenix facility, acting VA Secretary Sloan Gibson said Friday.
At a news conference Thursday, Gibson said he does not know for sure if the new deaths are related to long waiting times for appointments.
He said if further investigation revealed the VA was responsible for the deaths, they would disclose that information and the responsible employees.
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"We have to work to earn back the trust of each veteran and we'll do that one veteran at a time," Gibson said.
The 18 veterans are among the 1,700 reported last week who were left the official waiting list at the Phoenix hospital.