Many incarcerated men and women, especially non-violent offenders, are being released from jails and prisons across the country over fears that COVID-19, commonly known as coronavirus, will spread rapidly behind bars.
Convicted rapist Harvey Weinstein has allegedly contracted coronavirus at Rikers Island, where he’s currently serving a 23-year sentence, and has been moved to solitary confinement.
Now, another high profile inmate — Bill Cosby — is fearful that he’s at high risk to contract the virus. “Mr. Cosby is elderly and blind and always needs to be escorted around the prison by support service inmates,” spokesman Andrew Wyatt said in a statement to the Daily News, adding that he is “very concerned” about Cosby’s health and safety. He continued, “Prisons and jails around the country are becoming infested with coronavirus cases, and it’s only a matter of time before Mr. Cosby’s prison likely falls victim to the virus.”
Cosby’s legal team is “now considering filing a motion” asking the court to release the disgraced comedian to house arrest. “Specifically, the lawyers are focusing on whether states are granting early release to elderly inmates from prisons due to the coronavirus, which could be a valid legal argument for Mr. Cosby,” Wyatt said.
As of now, no formal request has been made on Cosby’s behalf.
Johns Hopkins University researchers report more than 55,000 people in the United States are infected with the coronavirus and more than 800 have died. Globally 441,000 people have been infected, with a death total of at least 19,784.
For the latest on the coronavirus, contact your local health department and visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.