Local nursing home to be investigated by Congress for coronavirus deaths

The Florida Health Department reports nine residents have died after contracting coronavirus at the Consulate Health Care of Brandon. Keith Alexander’s mother, Dorothy, was one of them.

“She went in for physical therapy and ended up dying,” Alexander said.

Now, Congress is demanding answers and information from the company that leads it.

In a letter to the CEO of Consulate Health Care Chris Bryson, House majority whip James Clyburn calls for documents and information regarding the more than 60 Americans who have died of COVID-19 at the facilities. Clyburn serves as the chair of the select subcommittee on the coronavirus crisis. 

Alexander says he wasn’t shocked at all to hear of the investigation.

“Not shocked regarding the way the management company of Consulate didn’t acknowledge the fact that they had an issue,” he said.

Dorothy, 87, was at the Brandon facility for less than a week when she contracted coronavirus. She died two days later on Mother’s Day.

“She didn’t go in there with any life-threatening issue. She didn’t have cancer, heart disease or anything like that,” he said.

Statistics confirmed June 20 by Florida’s Health Department show 37 residents and 19 staff members have contracted the virus at the facility. 

Clyburn’s letter is pointing the finger at deficiencies in testing and infection control, along with understaffing and low pay.

Alexander doesn’t say whether it’ll bring closure, but perhaps more transparency so another family doesn’t have to endure the same.

“She was very joyful, very fun. A loving mother, grandmother, wife.”

Consulate Health Care is one of the five companies that received a letter from Congress. And Clyburn gave them a tight deadline of June 30 to produce the requested information. The letter requests numerous statistics, including the number of individuals confirmed/suspected to have contracted COVID-19, deaths, number of coronavirus tests performed, along with details regarding personal protective equipment (PPE) quantities. 

FOX 13 reached out to the Consulate Health Care of Brandon for comment, but we have not heard back.