Some House Democrats are asking the Bureau of Prisons for an update on the health of corrections officials who helped quell protests in Washington D.C. and Miami, specifically whether they were tested for COVID-19 before returning to work, Politico reports.
House Homeland Security Chairman Bennie Thompson requested the bureau to provide details on whether prison staff quarantined or received a coronavirus test before they returned to their regular jobs.
Thompson’s request was backed by Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, Rep. Jamie Raskin and Sen. Cory Booker. They noted that some of the Bureau of Prisons officials sent to help respond to ongoing protests came from the FCI-Petersburg prison located in Hopewell, Va., which is experiencing a large virus outbreak.
“On June 9, 2020, members of DC National Guard who responded to the protests tested positive for COVID-19, according to military representatives, raising concerns about BOP and other personnel who responded to the protests,” the lawmakers write in the letter addressed to Bureau of Prisons Director Michael Carvajal.
They’re asking for details by June 17 about which facilities sent officers to assist with controlling protests in Washington, D.C. and Miami. They want to know what the status of the coronavirus outbreak is in those facilities and whether those assigned to the protests were required to be tested and take a 14-day quarantine before returning to prisons. The lawmakers also want to know if the officers were tested before they were sent to help mitigate protests.
The Democrats are also looking for an update on the rate of the coronavirus generally among Bureau of Prisons staff by July 1.
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