On Sunday, news broke that Harvey Weinstein had contracted coronavirus in prison, and on Monday, the news was confirmed.
The convicted rapist was transferred to Wende Correctional Facility east of Buffalo after being sentenced to 23 years behind bars on March 11th. Michael Powers, president of the New York State Correctional Officers and Police Benevolent Association, confirmed to NBC that he tested positive, and is in solitary confinement.
On Twitter, many reacted with glee. One wrote: “Whoever coughed on Harvey Weinstein should be given a medal of honour”.
Others were furious that he could get the test, while regular people are unable to: “you’re giving him the test? THERES PEOPLE THAT HAVENT COMMITED CRIMES THAT CANT EVEN GET” it. Another wrote: “You can joke and cheer about Harvey Weinstein having coronavirus, but remember he still got tested faster than you and your loved ones ever will.”
Before heading to Wende, he was housed at Rikers, where several prisoners and officers have been found positive for coronavirus.
Several staffers at the facility who have been in contact with him are quarantined. The issue raises the larger problem of keeping prisoners and workers safe as correctional officers struggle to get access to personal protective equipment (PPE), such as masks, glasses, gowns and respirators.
“PPE is vital for us in our facilities,” Powers said. “While a lot of people were working from home, we are keeping our community safe.”