CHICAGO (CBS) — Mayor Lori Lightfoot on Thursday called for an independent investigation of Loretto Hospital, in the wake of the scandal over the West Side hospital arranging for vaccines for ineligible but well-connected people.
Loretto Chief Operating Officer Dr. Anosh Ahmed resigned Wednesday night, as the hospital board said it would continue to investigate all deviations from vaccine policy rules.READ MORE: FEMA To Cover Funeral Costs For COVID-19 Victims
“If our review should uncover anything further that indicates our processes were compromised, there will be additional consequences imposed on those responsible for these actions,” Edward M. Hogan, Chairman of the Loretto Hospital Board of Trustees, said in a statement.
However, Lightfoot said in a phone call with reporters Thursday that there must be an independent probe of Loretto to determine how every dose was allocated, and the findings of that investigation should be presented to the Chicago Department of Public Health.
The mayor didn’t say specifically who should conduct that investigation.
The hospital’s board met Monday afternoon, amid the latest revelations that Ahmed and Loretto Chief Executive Officer George Miller arranged for vaccines to those well-connected people who were not eligible to get it.
At the time, the board did not announce any new disciplinary actions against Miller or Ahmed, instead pointing to a statement from last week that the two executives had been “reprimanded.”
Monday’s board meeting came after Block Club Chicago, which broke the story on Loretto Hospital providing vaccines to connected people who were not yet eligible, reported the hospital vaccinated ineligible people at a luxury Gold Coast watch and jewelry shop, where Ahmed is a frequent customer.READ MORE: Live Updates From CBS News: 1 Dead, 1 Wounded In Shooting At Tennessee High School
According to Block Club, Loretto Hospital held a March 3 vaccination event Geneva Seal, a Gold Coast shop that sells high-end jewelry and watches, where Ahmed is a frequent customer and has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars. The hospital reportedly offered vaccinations to the owners and employees at the shop, as well as their family and friends.
The scandal broke last week when Miller admitted to vaccinating 72 restaurant, housekeeping, and other hotel employees at Trump International Chicago; a group not yet eligible for shots.
Miller also publicly posted a video announcing vaccinations at his church, Valley Kingdom Ministries International in Oak Forest, more than 30 miles away from the West Side community that Miller said in December needed these vaccines the most.
Block Club also reported Wednesday that employees at the Maple & Ash steakhouse in the Gold Coast also improperly received vaccines from the supply at Loretto.
Lightfoot said Loretto has repeatedly told her it has “come clean” about vaccines that went to ineligible people, only for new examples to come out later. Earlier this week, the mayor said she fears more stories of Loretto arranging for vaccines for ineligible people will keep coming out.
This past Friday, city officials cut off Loretto Hospital’s supply of COVID-19 vaccines over the rule-breaking.MORE NEWS: Cook County To Release 35,000 COVID-19 Vaccine Appointments Tuesday Afternoon
Lightfoot has said the city is continuing to administer the COVID vaccine throughout the West Side and those areas that would have been served by Loretto.