Eric Shinseki, general secretary at the Department of Veterans Affairs, announced his resignation Friday, with few expressing disappointment about his departure aside from President Barack Obama.
The president accepted Shinseki’s resignation "with regret," after the two met to discuss what to do about the lapse in proper care for the countless veterans either waiting too long for or not receiving any care, according to the LA Times.
Shinseki’s immediate successor is Sloan Gibson, who previously served as deputy secretary.
Reaction to Shinseki’s resignation was palpable by members of Congress, whose taking to Twitter was more unexpected than the general public and the media.
Politico rounded up some immediate reactions, including Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ), who called it a "good move," and Sen. Jerry Moran (R-KS), who tweeted the new VA secretary should "not come from within the current dysfunctional system that is failing our veterans." Each official was perhaps hoping to garner favor with the furious constituency back home still waiting for medical care.
Naturally, there was also partisan criticism for the president: Rep. Tim Huelskamp tweeted the hashtag #LiesYouTell after quoting POTUS saying, "I always take responsibility for whatever happens."
Despite the retired general saying the VA hospital issues were "isolated," such as the cover-up of wait times at a Phoenix, Arizona VA hospital, an inspector general’s interim report revealed that similar issues have occurred at many more locations, according to Bloomberg Businessweek.
The Washington Post has the entire IG report on its Federal Eye blog.
In his statement, available in full on USA Today, Shinseki shoulders the blame for the "lack of integrity" at VA clinics across the country – even if he had no idea it was going on.
"I was too trusting of some and I accepted as accurate reports that I now know to have been misleading with regard to patient wait times," he said.
Little sympathy was had across Twitter at large, including some voices – like the Wounded Warrior Project – that are going to resonate with veterans and speak to how they’re feeling. It was also an opportunity for some to express their disdain for the entire government.
Twitter users show their feelings about Shinseki’s resignation:
Shinseki resigns, a first step to fix widespread VA problems. Now, the conversation must turn to solutions. http://t.co/Kk2ka3TTma— WoundedWarriorProjec (@wwpinc) May 30, 2014
.@DAVHQ "respects Shinseki's decision to resign" & praises his resume. But note "change in leadership does not address root of VA problems"— Leo Shane III (@LeoShane) May 30, 2014
Firing Shinseki is meaningless if nothing changes. Many heads need to roll & its not gonna happen. US govt no longer functions on any level— Herb Hastings (@Nerdparent) May 30, 2014