FBI investigates Chicago safety-net hospital's vaccine program

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The FBI is investigating Chicago-based Loretto Hospital's vaccine program as part of a larger criminal probe, Block Club Chicago reported Nov. 2. 

The investigation comes after reports that the program vaccinated ineligible people with ties to hospital administrators. 

Block Club and the Better Government Association published an audit revealing that more than half of the early on-site vaccine doses administered by Loretto Hospital went to white and Asian people, despite the safety-net hospital serving an area that is 79 percent Black. This was during late December and early 2021, when the pandemic continued to ravage low-income communities of color at a disproportionate rate. 

On March 10, Loretto Hospital vaccinated ineligible people at Trump Tower, where the then-CFO and COO, Anosh Ahmed, MD, owns a condo. At this time, vaccinations were limited to front-line workers, healthcare staff, and those 65 and older.

The hospital CEO, George Miller, wrote to Loretto staff in March claiming responsibility for the Trump Tower event, saying he authorized it.

On May 27, the FBI issued a subpoena to the Illinois Health Department requesting information on people vaccinated through Loretto on March 10 and 11. They issued a second subpoena on Sept. 15 demanding more information on vaccinations across multiple locations those two days. 

An officer from the FBI public affairs team told Block Club, "DOJ policy prohibits the FBI from commenting on the existence or nonexistence of any investigation."

The hospital is also under a separate investigation by the Illinois attorney general's office for possible misuse of charitable assets.

Neither Loretto officials nor Dr. Ahmed replied to Block Club's request for comment, the publication noted.

 

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