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VA Secretary Worries About Impact Of California Power Outages

The San Diego VA Medical Center in La Jolla is shown on Sept., 26, 2019.
Zoë Meyers / inewsource
The San Diego VA Medical Center in La Jolla is shown on Sept., 26, 2019.

Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert Wilkie sent a letter to California Gov. Gavin Newsom, warning of the potential consequences of wildfire-related power outages for the state’s 1.6 million veterans.

Wilkie’s letter, sent Monday, warns that preemptive outages — designed to prevent wildfires — “could create significant life-threatening issues for the region’s veterans.”

VA Secretary Worries About Impact Of California Power Outages
Listen to this story by Steve Walsh.

The secretary asked the governor to update the VA about his plans to “mitigate the potential hardship.”

The secretary’s office did not indicate how it wants California VA to handle the outages. Veteran Health Administration facilities have backup generators. Individual veterans and private VA providers may not.

The governor’s office did not release a response.

The VA San Diego Healthcare System released a statement saying home-based care providers check on patients during fires or outages.

Insulin must be kept cool. The VA recommends veterans keep cold packs in the freezer as a backup, in case of a power outage.

While San Diego State is the only local university with a major football and basketball program, it's not the only school that could be impacted by the new state law allowing college athletes to profit from their images. And, the San Diego Padres announced that Jayce Tingler, the relatively unknown former assistant manager for the Texas Rangers, will be the new general manager.