VA Secretary Denis McDonough is responsible for implementing H.R. 6395, P.L.116-283–the FY 2021 NDAA, which contains the Tester/Harder Amendment. It was passed into law on Jan. 1, 2021. I have not yet seen any updates on the VA website to reflect that parkinsonism, bladder cancer, and hypothyroidism are now presumptive service connection diseases for Agent Orange exposure in Vietnam. (Section 1116(a)(2) of title 38, United States Code). McDonough said that he considered this matter “urgent” yet it appears, not too urgent. Not even urgent enough to release the new information on March 29, the National Vietnam War Veterans Day. (Signed by Obama in 2012, it’s such a non-event that I don’t see it mentioned on VVA’s website front page.)
Meanwhile, Agent Orange is an on-going catastrophe for people exposed to it and other herbicides. I have watched this film as an online screening and recommend it. More evidence of generational damage from several points of view.
It appears as if this doc will air on PBS in June. The comments on the PBS website provide more examples of suffering from these toxic agents. Sec. McDonough, get the “rules” and AO VA website and outreach efforts, as per law, published. Don’t drag it out until the last possible minute.
Laura (Guest Author)