VA chief: 'I deeply regret' wait-time comparison to Disney - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

VA chief: 'I deeply regret' wait-time comparison to Disney

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In this photo taken Feb. 25, 2016, Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald speaks in Washington. In this photo taken Feb. 25, 2016, Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald speaks in Washington.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald says he regrets remarks he made comparing long wait times at VA health care sites to waiting in line at a Disney amusement park.

In a statement, McDonald said: "It was never my intention to suggest that I don't take our mission of serving veterans very seriously." He went on to say: "If my comments Monday led any veterans to believe that I, or the dedicated workforce I am privileged to lead, don't take that noble mission seriously, I deeply regret that. Nothing could be further from the truth."

McDonald's statement came after a Republican senator called for his resignation and GOP lawmakers and veterans' service groups slammed his remarks as insulting and inappropriate.

RELATED: VA Secretary McDonald compares health-care lines to Disney

McDonald said at a breakfast Monday that the VA should not use wait times as a measure of success, comparing waits for VA health care to the hours people wait for rides at Disney theme parks. McDonald said a veterans' health-care experience was more important than the time spend waiting for an appointment.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press.

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