White House officials will "soft-launch" a veterans' complaint hotline this week in preparation to fulfill one of President Trump's campaign promises by August, Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin said on Wednesday.
The details of the hotline's debut are "being worked out tomorrow," Shulkin told reporters during a rare appearance at the White House. The phone line will allow veterans to call in their complaints and concerns about conditions at the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Trump included a direct line to the White House for veterans in a 10-point plan for VA reform that he rolled out during the presidential race. His focus on a functional hotline came after months of controversy involving the flawed veterans' suicide hotline, which VA has failed to staff and maintain adequately.
Last year, whistleblowers exposed the fact that the broken VA suicide line dropped roughly 1.4 million calls from veterans seeking support in a crisis.
The White House complaints line should launch officially by Aug. 15, Shulkin said on Wednesday. Its "soft launch" will occur on Thursday, and veterans can call 855-948-2311 to voice their concerns, the VA secretary said.