Chicago hospital exec resigns after improper Trump Tower vaccine distribution

A top Chicago hospital executive resigned on Wednesday after it was discovered that he improperly distributed COVID-19 vaccines to Trump Tower and other businesses where he had close ties.

Block Club Chicago reported that the board for Loretto Hospital accepted the resignation of Anosh Ahmed, the embattled chief operating officer, following the outlet’s reporting on his links to the improper doses.

The board said it is continuing to investigate “any and all deviations from the rules and regulations” for vaccinations.

“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,” board Chairman Edward Hogan said in a statement.

Ahmed’s exit comes after the outlet reported that the hospital improperly used city-supplied vaccines to inoculate restaurant, hospital and other support personnel at Trump International Hotel and Tower downtown, where Ahmed owns a condo worth $2 million.

The event was reportedly orchestrated under the city’s Protect Chicago Plus campaign, which is meant to target residents living in 15 areas on the South and West sides hit by COVID-19. The downtown area, where the luxury skyscraper is located, was not included, Block Club Chicago reported. 

Loretto CEO George Miller said he authorized the vaccine clinic because the institution erroneously believed that the front-line hospitality industry was eligible under Chicago’s guidelines.
Ahmed also allegedly bragged in a text message about vaccinating Eric Trump, the former president’s son and executive at Trump Organization, who is not eligible for a vaccine in Chicago. However, Ahmed later claimed he was only joking, according to the outlet.

Block Club Chicago also reported that Loretto held other suspicious vaccination events, including one at the hospital president’s suburban church and a high-end watch shop that Ahmed frequently visited. 

Ahmed’s resignation also came hours after the outlet reported that ineligible people who work at a steakhouse where Ahmed regularly dines were also vaccinated early.

More than a dozen Cook County Circuit Court judges were also reportedly vaccinated early through Loretto. 

Last week, the city’s health department decided to withhold shipping more first doses of vaccines to Loretto pending an investigation. Those who received one dose through the hospital will be able to get their second. 

Mayor Lori Lightfoot (D) said she was concerned about reports involving the hospital.

“Unfortunately, in recent days, stories have surfaced alleging providers who had an obligation to follow (Chicago Department of Public Health) guidelines, ignored those restrictions and instead allowed well-connected individuals to jump the line to receive the vaccine instead of using it to service people who were more in need,” Lightfoot said in a statement.

Loretto Hospital is a 122-bed facility that primarily serves Black and Latino residents in surrounding West Side neighborhoods.

The hospital was chosen last year to administer Chicago’s ceremonial first COVID-19 vaccination

Tags Chicago Coronavirus COVID-19 vaccine Eric Trump George Miller Hospital Lori Lightfoot Trump International Hotel Trump Tower Vaccination
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