It Was a Surprise

The Pentagon’s top doctor, William Winkenwerder, told reporters Wednesday that the revelations about housing problems at Walter Reed Army Medical Center took him “completely by surprise.” However, he and the Army officials present accepted “accountability” for the problems, saying they would be remedied “immediately.” Gen. Richard Cody, Army vice chief of staff, said that he and Army Secretary Francis Harvey had visited the now “infamous” Building 18—under Army control but outside the gates of Walter Reed—and were “absolutely disappointed” in the state of the rooms housing some 70 soldiers on medical hold. Cody vowed to personally oversee necessary improvements. Cody repeatedly refused to cite specific individuals who were to blame, saying only that people with the “right rank and right experience” had not been in charge and the Army is “correcting [that] right now.”