CEO of Chicago hospital suspended without pay amid vaccine scandal

Coronavirus

The latest disclosure comes after several other incidents in which vaccination events were reportedly held outside the hospital

CHICAGO (WGN) — The CEO of Chicago’s Loretto Hospital will be suspended without pay for two weeks amid a vaccine scandal. CEO George Miller’s suspension will be delayed until the hospital places a new COO and CFO.

Last week, the hospital announced Miller and then-executive Dr. Anosh Ahmed were reprimanded but did not provide details at the time.

The news follows another controversy for Loretto after a report of a suburban family receiving 10 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine back in January.

Dr. Ali Ahmed, who oversaw COVID-19 clinical trials at the hospital, requested to vaccinate a terminally ill woman and nine others at a suburban home, the board said.

The former COO and CFO Dr. Anosh Ahmed approved it and resigned last week amid several vaccine controversies. City officials decided to withhold first doses from the hospital as an investigation unfolds.

The latest disclosure comes after several other incidents in which vaccination events were reportedly held outside the hospital; at Trump Tower where Dr. Ahmed lives, a Gold Coast watch shop that he frequents and a steakhouse where he often dines.

Officials believe a suburban church where Ahmed worships benefitted, and Cook County judges were also reportedly vaccinated ahead of schedule. Block Club Chicago was the first to report on the scandal.

“I’m anxious to see what the results are,” Mayor Lori Lightfoot said. “This kind of drip, drip, drip in the media with a different story and all kinds of reports that doesn’t help them, but also doesn’t build confidence that they are a trusted provider of the vaccine.”

Loretto’s spokesperson said the hospital is no longer approving off-site visits and that the ill person who received the vaccine was eligible. A vaccine audit being conducted by the hospital will be complete sometime this week.

“A request by a hospital partner to vaccinate a terminally ill woman and nine other individuals, including her family members, was made in late January and was approved by a former executive who is no longer employed at Loretto,” a spokesperson said. “While information provided at the time deemed that these individuals were eligible per City vaccination guidelines, Loretto is no longer approving off site visits that aren’t either hosted by the hospital or community partners and organizations.”

In the meantime, the first doses of the vaccine have been given to Rush Medical Center.

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