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Durbin talks about healthcare issues during swing through western Illinois

U.S. Senator Dick Durbin with representatives from McDonough District Hospital.
Rich Egger
U.S. Senator Dick Durbin with representatives from McDonough District Hospital.

Democratic U.S. Senator Dick Durbin paid visits to McDonough District Hospital in Macomb and Blessing Hospital in Quincy this week.

“Those of us who live downstate realized these hospitals are critical. They really come to our rescue in emergency situations,” Durbin told reporters during his stop in Macomb.

“But they also give communities credibility for businesses that want to locate here and for jobs in the future.”

However, he added downstate facilities face challenges in attracting healthcare professionals to rural areas.

Durbin recommended hospitals reach out to middle and high school students to make them aware at an early age of opportunities in the field. He also said a key is attracting students to the state’s institutions of higher education.

“That’s why the SIU School of Medicine has been so important for our state because they’re focused on providing physicians in downstate communities,” he said.

“Nursing is the same way. Nurses are likely to practice near where they were trained.”

Durbin’s thoughts on the charges against Trump

The most recent indictment against Republican Donald Trump accuses the former president of trying to overturn the result of the 2020 presidential election. He faces four counts in the case.

Durbin, a Democrat, said he would like to see the trial televised. He said it’s important for the American people to see what transpires in the courtroom

He also reminded people that anyone accused of a crime has a right to due process and the presumption of innocence.

“It applies to the former president as well as everyone else. But I’ll just say in general, it was a sad day for our country when a former president is charged with anything of that seriousness or magnitude,” Durbin said.

Trump is the first current or former U.S. president to face criminal charges.

He was indicted in two other cases earlier this year.

Trump was first indicted on New York state charges in March. The Manhattan district attorney accused Trump of paying hush money to an adult-film star in 2016.

Then, in June, a federal grand jury in Miami indicted Trump for taking classified national defense documents from the White House after he left office and refusing the federal government’s request to return them.

Trump has pleaded not guilty to all of the charges against him.

Tri States Public Radio produced this story.  TSPR relies on financial support from our readers and listeners in order to provide coverage of the issues that matter to west central Illinois, southeast Iowa, and northeast Missouri. As someone who values the content created by TSPR's news department please consider making a financial contribution.

Rich is TSPR's News Director.