New Hampshire hospital receives hundreds of angry calls, bomb threat

Claremont, N.H.-based Valley Regional Hospital has been the target of a barrage of harassment stemming from a group known for subscribing to conspiracy theories, forcing the hospital to close phone lines and enlist the security of local police, The Washington Post reported Feb. 25. 

In early December, the hospital was flooded with calls demanding physicians treat a COVID-19 patient with ivermectin, an anti-parasitic drug that has not been approved to treat illness stemming from the coronavirus. Over the next week, so many calls and emails came in that the hospital had to shut down its main number. In response, the hospital closed all but one entrance and a 24-hour police presence was established at the hospital. 

The hospital then received a bomb threat for what is believed to be the first time in its history. Valley Regional was evacuated and shut down, with dogs sent in to search the area. Staff and patients were allowed to return once no device was found. 

Despite the threats, Valley Regional Hospital CEO Jocelyn Caple, MD, told the Post the facility had a great deal of behind-the-scenes support. Nearby hospitals sent additional security and equipment to support Valley Regional and one CEO at a neighboring system sent cupcakes for the staff.

"No matter what, when things heat up at work, we can't just close up shop and go home," Dr. Caple told the Post. "I was angry that anyone would endeavor to make my staff's jobs any harder or more stressful than they already are."

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