A federal prisoner in Eastern Ohio secretly recorded sick inmates in close proximity to each other inside a prison where COVID-19 has hospitalized 37 inmates, isolated 71, and infected at least 3 staff members.
What We Know:
- The Federal Correctional Institution is located about 100 miles from Cleveland in Elkton. As of Tuesday, U.S. Rep. Bill Johnson confirmed in a statement that 25 Elkton inmates had tested positive for COVID-19. Some of these infected inmates were transferred to nearby hospitals and are being treated.
- “They literally leaving us in here to die,” the unidentified inmate, who wore a mask, said in the lengthy video shot inside the prison. The video has been spread around and has gotten hundreds of thousands of views since Wednesday morning. The video also shows inmates in his cell coughing and breathing heavily.
- The inmate is clearly shown sleeping in the bunk above his bed and two other inmates lying just a few feet away, coughing and wheezing. “You all motherf******s can social distance. We can’t social distance,” the inmate said.
- The situation is so dire at the prison that on Monday, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine approved the Ohio National Guard to bring critical medical assistance.
Moreover, attorneys in the Cleveland area filed emergency reprieve requests asking the governor to allow thousands of older inmates and those with underlying health problems to be temporarily released from prisons across the state because they are at a higher risk of contracting COVID-19 and dying from it.