Filed under: Disaster, Incarceration, Interviews, Midwest, Radio/Podcast
Report from Rustbelt Abolition Radio about the potential spread of coronavirus across the Michigan prison system.
Prisoners in several Michigan prisons are currently on quarantine — being subjected to the absolute and arbitrary sovereign will of the MDOC with little to no possibility of redress. We hear from Bruce X — a comrade quarantined at Macomb correctional facility, located just north of Detroit — who tells us about the desperation of the situation inside:
Well we at Macomb Correctional Facility and my name is Bruce X. Parker, 593090. At this facility currently there’s an outbreak. They said it was the flu but I believe it’s deeper than the flu because of the drastic measures they engaging in. When they first came through last Thursday –the nurse did, her name is RN Revard– she came through coughing and sneezing, face red, clearly looking sick with no facial mask on, asking us a slew of questions. And while she was asking those slew of questions she said, “Okay, you guys are good.” But then she came back, cause apparently she didn’t do her job the first time, and guys begin to explain to her that we was having cold sweats and things of that nature. And I believe it’s the coronavirus because all the symptoms thereof, because they went to drastic measures: they shut down or quarantined seven, eight different prisons right now.
And furthermore, they have us taking two times a day, five days a week, we’re taking Theraflu or something, some pill they’re giving us, that they said it’s going to get rid of it and help us get rid of whatever flu or virus we have that I believe they are bringing in. And they’re telling prisoners that we’re required to wear masks if they’re given to us — if they give them to us at all. And they refusing to give us masks; now they wouldn’t give us masks anymore. And officers are not even wearing masks. Yesterday they just had almost 40-some cases in Seven Block, which is the mentally ill unit where the individuals are on psychotropic meds. And I’m wondering how the meds are going to be in a mix with the Theraflu and other medicine they’re giving for this so-called non-resistant strain of the flu, which I believe they’re underestimating.
They’re lying through their teeth. And furthermore, yesterday in Two Block, you had a guy by the name of Mullins who hung himself and died yesterday. While we was on this lockdown yesterday, we’ve been on a lockdown for about a week now, and the warden Chapman, I spoke to the warden Willis Chapman two days ago and he says, “You guys are not… we got about another week and a half”, but every time a new case is reported, they say we gotta be quarantined for 7 to 10 days. So I don’t know what’s going on there, but all I know is that they’re not taking proper precautions in here when it comes to us and I believe they are bringing that stuff in here, whatever it is. Some of them are refusing to administer the appropriate measures to determine whether or not we are sick to the extent to have to report it to the CDC.
When I finally felt –knew– I was sick, I went to nurse Wolf who told me wait 24 hours and I waited. Then the next morning, this was on Sunday, I seen nurse Smith and she said she didn’t want to give me no treatment and she said that, “You know what? It’s not, it’s not a cure-all. It’s not a magical medicine”. I said, “But if I’m sick and you giving everyone else the medicine shouldn’t I be given the same medicine? ‘Cause I’m sick, I’m having cold and hot sweats. My chest is tightening up and it’s getting hard for me to breathe.” And she still refused to give me treatment so I had to wait until the next day to get treatment.
It’s just [sigh] they just getting out of control at this facility, Macomb Correctional Facility, but the Michigan Department of Corrections in general, they try to minimize what’s actually going on because they know that there’s a cost associated with giving us the proper treatment and like MDOC has always been doing… they don’t want to give us the proper treatment so they engage in these measures to make it appear as if they’re doing their job or giving us proper treatment when in fact the treatment that they’re giving is inadequate and substandard and deplorable. Beyond reprehensible.
I think that you guys should contact the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and the disease and poison control. And tell them to come in here and get to testing prisoners man, because I think that that virus is in here.
What’s wrong with the United States? This is, this is really a punitive country. They don’t even have no caring concern. Lock people up. They won’t even let you out. I told you about two guys they had here, Parker and another guy, I call him big John, who had cancer. These guys had been locked up 40 something years, had cancer, and they refused to treat them properly. TA Kim Ferris and nurse practitioner Juliana Martino. They refused to treat these individuals and what happened to these guys when they could have been cured or the cancer could have been put in remission. They was not treated. They engaged in every other measure except giving the proper care because of the cost, again, that’s associated with it. And both of these inmates died. They had a, a mourning was held here for both of them.
These people are getting out of control, and I’m just afraid for the prison population in Michigan because I know for a fact if they won’t treat cancer, they’re not going to treat this. Hell, the government don’t even got a hold on this coronavirus people. People here as sick as a dog. One guy, he won’t stop being sick, steady throwing up and defacating and oh my God…
My only last word is we appreciate you. We know that you and all the other folks is working with you are our voice. Because we have to have a voice. I’m telling you, this is what this is, and mark my words. Mark my words.