The FBI announced on Thursday that it has made an arrest in connection with a hoax bomb threat against Boston Children’s Hospital.
U.S. Attorney Rachael Rollins said Kathleen Levy of Westfield, Mass., is charged with one count of making a false telephonic bomb threat in connection with a threat made to the hospital on Aug. 30, NBC10 Boston reported.
“This alleged conduct is disturbing, to say the least,” Rollins said during a news conference, local media reported. “Bomb hoaxes cause, fear, panic and a diversion of resources that have a real impact on our communities. The people that work at Children’s Hospital and the parents that bring their loved ones to Children’s Hospital are under enough stress.”
The arrest comes amid a surge in threats made to several Boston-area children’s hospitals in recent weeks as conservative media personalities and activists have railed against gender-affirming care services they allege have been provided at the facilities.
Boston Children’s is home to the first pediatric and adolescent transgender health program in the United States. It became the focus of far-right social media accounts, news outlets and bloggers last week after they found informational YouTube videos published by the hospital weeks ago about surgical offerings for transgender patients.
Boston Children’s Hospital said it has received “a large volume” of hostile online messages, phone calls and harassing emails, including threats of violence, WCVB reported.
Disinformation reporters and other observers pointed out this week some critics of the hospitals have recently suggested threats against the hospital and healthcare workers are overblown or have not happened.
The Associated Press contributed to this report