On Democracy Now! 3/23/20:
Alarm is growing about the safety of more than 37,000 people held in immigrant detention centers and private jails that contract with Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, where it is nearly impossible for them to avoid close contact to stop the spread of the coronavirus. Nearly half of those detained by ICE are accused of no crime other than civil immigration violations. Immigrants at three jails in New Jersey are now on hunger strikes over unsanitary conditions that put them at high risk during the pandemic. DN! hears from a detained person on hunger strike and speak with John Sandweg, former acting director of ICE during the Obama administration, who is calling for ICE to release thousands from detention, and Angelica Salas, executive director of the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles, or CHIRLA, which just led a national effort to stop immigration enforcement actions.
As the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the U.S. rises to more than 35,000, doctors are facing a desperate lack of supplies, and tests continue to lag. DN! speaks with Dr. Leana Wen, an emergency physician and public health professor at George Washington University. She previously served as Baltimore’s health commissioner. She says healthcare workers are “putting their lives on the line every day” as they work in hazardous conditions with inadequate supplies, including N95 respirator masks. “First we’re going to run out of masks, and then we’re going to run out of doctors and nurses, because they’ll become sick,” Dr. Wen warns.
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