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Rikers Island chief doctor calls prison a “public health disaster happening before our very eyes”

The head doctor at Rikers Island calls the prison a “public health disaster that is happening before our eyes” because he advocates the release of “as many vulnerable prisoners as possible”

  • Chief physician Ross MacDonald responded to a letter from city-wide prosecutors addressed to Mayor de Blasio
  • “I prefer to do my job anonymously, but in these extraordinary times I have to comment on this letter from the prosecutors of New York,” said the doctor.
  • Dr. MacDonald said the prison had followed CDC guidelines “before they were issued” and said the city has “the best health workers in prison”
  • “Despite these efforts, infections in our prisons are increasing rapidly,” he said
  • The New York Times reports that there are 167 prisoners and 137 correction workers confirmed to have COVID-19 at RIkers
  • Mayor de Blasio said about 650 prisoners had been released from the city’s prisons as of Sunday
  • Coronavirus symptoms: what are they and should you see a doctor?

Chief physician Ross MacDonald responded to a letter from city-wide prosecutors addressed to Mayor de Blasio, alleging that he did not consider public safety when considering a number of prisoners

Chief physician Ross MacDonald responded to a letter from city-wide prosecutors addressed to Mayor de Blasio, alleging that he did not consider public safety when considering a number of prisoners

The chief physician at Rikers Island issued a grim warning when he called for the release of as many ‘vulnerable’ prisoners as possible, stating that the current effects of the corona virus on prisons could cause a crisis of a magnitude that no generation alive today has ever seen. ‘

Chief physician Ross MacDonald responded to a letter from city-wide prosecutors addressed to Mayor de Blasio, alleging that he was not considering public safety when considering a number of prisoners.

“I prefer to do my job anonymously, but in these extraordinary times, I have to comment on this letter from the prosecutors of New York,” said the doctor. Twitter thread, sharing one New York Post article about the letter.

The doctor said that the only part of the letter he could refer to directly was part of the prosecutors ‘not appreciating the public health disaster that unfolds before our eyes.’ specifically referring to comments that New York City “properly managed the health needs of the remaining prisoners, in accordance with the CDC’s recent guidelines for the management of COVID-19 in correctional and detention centers.”

Dr. MacDonald said the prison had followed CDC guidelines “before they were issued,” adding that the city has “the best health workers in prison.”

“I prefer to do my job anonymously, but in these extraordinary times I have to comment on this letter from the prosecutors of New York,” said the doctor.

The New York Times reports that there are 167 prisoners and 137 correction workers confirmed to have COVID-19 at RIkers

The New York Times reports that there are 167 prisoners and 137 correction workers confirmed to have COVID-19 at RIkers

The New York Times reports that there are 167 prisoners and 137 correction workers confirmed to have COVID-19 at RIkers

“We spent years recruiting and retaining the most talented, mission-driven health professionals in the field,” the doctor continued. “We will give everything on every cruel day of this crisis.”

But Dr. MacDonald still gave his grim warning.

“Despite these efforts, infections in our prisons are increasing rapidly,” he said.

The New York Times reports that there are 167 prisoners and 137 correction workers who have been confirmed to have COVID-19 at RIkers.

Mayor de Blasio said about 650 prisoners had been released from the city's prisons as of Sunday

Mayor de Blasio said about 650 prisoners had been released from the city's prisons as of Sunday

Mayor de Blasio said about 650 prisoners had been released from the city’s prisons as of Sunday

Mayor de Blasio said about 650 prisoners had been released from the city’s prisons as of Sunday.

The doctor said there were “nearly 200 confirmed cases when we had our first just 12 days ago.”

He continued, “At the time, we moved mountains to protect our patients.

There are more than 75,000 cases of the coronavirus in New York

There are more than 75,000 cases of the coronavirus in New York

There are more than 75,000 cases of the coronavirus in New York

This is not a general public health crisis, but rather a crisis that no generation living today has ever seen.

Dr. MacDonald said it was “unlikely” that the facility’s efforts would counter the spread of the virus to Rikers.

“I can reassure my patients that I will give them the best possible care, but we expect 20% of those infected will need our congested hospitals and 5% will need respirators that many other citizens will also need,” he said.

“I can’t expect to tell you how to do your job, but you shouldn’t assume you’re experts in correctional health or correction. I have a reason to sound this alarm. I just ask that in this time of crisis the focus remains on releasing as many vulnerable people as possible. ‘

New York State has now died 75,795 cases of coronavirus – an increase of 9,298 since Monday – and 1,550, Governor Andrew Cuomo revealed Tuesday admitting ‘no one knows’ when the pandemic will end, saying the entire country ‘underestimated’ .

More than 900 people have died from the coronavirus in New York City

More than 900 people have died from the coronavirus in New York City

More than 900 people have died from the coronavirus in New York City

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