Former Texas Republican Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison has reached across the political aisle about as far as she can, praising Bernie Sanders, the only socialist in the U.S. Senate, for his support of veterans who returned from the 1990-1991 Persian Gulf War with mysterious ailments.
Hutchison made the comments at a tribute honoring her contributions to The Academy of Medicine, Engineering and Science of Texas, a nonprofit organization that works to further the state’s position as a “national research leader.” Hutchison is a co-founder and the honorary chair of the academy. The private event was held at the Perot Museum of Nature and Science Wednesday night.
Hutchison also lauded research by University of Texas-Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas epidemiologist Robert Haley, which determined that symptoms experienced by Gulf War veterans were caused by physical ailments and not stress. Haley endured considerable pushback from many in the medical community and the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Kay Bailey Hutchison
Hutchison was an early and outspoken supporter of Haley’s work. Hutchison also praised Sanders for his support of ailing Gulf War veterans, which dated back to his tenure as a U.S. representative.
Sanders now serves as chairman of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs. And Haley is the holder of the U.S. Armed Forces Veterans Distinguished Chair for Medical Research, Honoring America’s Gulf War Veterans at UT-Southwestern.
Hutchison said that Sanders wants Haley to testify about some recent findings, which have identified a plume containing toxic chemicals and nerve agents from bombed storage facilities in the Baghdad area as the apparent source of the veterans’ ailments.