FBI raids Pennsylvania nursing home where hundreds caught coronavirus, dozens died

Federal and state investigators raided a Pennsylvania nursing home Thursday where hundreds of residents and staff members tested positive for coronavirus and dozens have died, authorities said.

Investigators from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the state attorney general’s office and other agencies executed the search warrant at Brighton Rehabilitation and Wellness Center northeast of Pittsburgh, said Scott Brady, U.S. Attorney for Pennsylvania’s Western District.

The Mt. Lebanon Rehabilitation and Wellness Center, another nursing home in the Pittsburgh area operated by the same company that owns Brighton, was also searched by authorities on Thursday, NBC affiliate WPXI reported.

Brady did not offer details about the search warrant but he encouraged anyone with information about suspected fraud, abuse or victimization to contact a regional COVID-19 task force.

Last month, Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro said that the facility was under investigation over reports of “deeply troubling” conditions and practices.

“I can confirm that Brighton is one of the subjects of our criminal investigations into neglect at nursing homes during the pandemic,” he tweeted.

State Department of Health data show that 447 residents and staff members tested positive for the disease, and 73 people died. In late July, the facility announced that it had no cases for the first time since March, according to WPXI, but its outbreak remains the worst in a Pennsylvania.

The facility did not immediately respond to a request for comment Thursday.

In a response to Shapiro’s announcement last month, Brighton said in a statement to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that it has “faith that federal, state and local governments, which dictate the required infectious disease control practices and policies, continue to grow in their understanding and ability to support, guide and direct those who are on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

“We will leave the readers to determine why some politicians seek 'investigations' into people and facilities instead of looking at governmental response to better their directives,” the statement added.

Medicare records showed that state inspectors warned of lax sanitary conditions last year that could lead to the spread of infection and diseases. The Sept. 13, 2019 report found the facility didn’t have enough trained nurses and that some residents were living in filthy conditions.