News Releases

ATLANTA – U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., chairman of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, today demanded answers from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) regarding reports that a veteran was bitten more than 100 times by ants while under end-of-life care at the Atlanta VA’s Eagles Nest Community Living Center in Decatur, Georgia. 

“I am shocked, horrified and downright maddened by the news that a veteran under the care of the VA was treated so poorly and without any regard for his wellbeing,” said Isakson. “This patient, at the end of his life, was clearly not being monitored closely enough, and I am so sad for his family who had to discover his insect-infested conditions before anything was reportedly done. I have spoken with Deputy Secretary Byrne to demand answers and express my dissatisfaction across all levels of the VA for allowing this to occur and for failing to inform Congress about this incident until just hours before news broke. I’ve also spoken to the veteran’s daughter and offered my deepest condolences and offered to help in any way I can to ensure that her family is taken care of and that those who allowed these conditions to persist be held accountable to the fullest extent.” 

Local leadership at the Atlanta VA Health Care System confirmed that at least three veterans were affected by the ant-infested conditions that were discovered at the community living center on Sept. 2. The veteran who was bitten more than 100 times has since passed away from cancer, and the death was unrelated to the ant bites, according to the VA.