End Prison Slavery, Prison conditions

COVID-19 Update

I am a US Army veteran I was trained to serve as a combat medic and in 1987 I graduated from the Army’s 91-Q10 pharmacy specialist course at the Academy of Health Sciences located at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas

I have worked for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation in their Pharmacy Department I have also worked as a visiting nurse, a lab tech, phlebotomy specialist, and as a pharmaceutical research assistant.

I would gladly volunteer to provide quality healthcare and to help human beings suffering in New Orleans, New York City, Detroit, Miami, California, or Texas. I would do anything that is needed in order to help heal our nation.

I have approximately 10 months, or less, on my federal prison sentence.

Like so many able-bodied and healthy human beings trapped in American prisons and jails, I am a wasted, unused, ignored, and forgotten human resource. The dormant potential which exists inside these institutions is truly remarkable.

The criminal justice system in the United States is broken beyond repair just as the healthcare system is shattered.

Nevertheless, I have digressed from the topic at hand, allow me to re-calibrate my focus.

Everyday Americans hear President Donald J Trump claiming what a wonderful job he and his administration is doing in response to the covid-19 pandemic the death tolls continue to rise and the president’s daily at updates have become a scripted political infomercial.

I’d like the public-at-large to take a closer look at the deadly covid-19 pandemic. 

In the March 30th, 2020 edition of Time Magazine, an article described Donald J Trump’s first major error in respect to the covid-19 crisis. Time Magazine reported: 

Trump’s first major error in the crisis came a year and a half before the novel coronavirus first emerged in Wuhan, China. In May 2018, he authorized his then National Security Adviser, John Bolton, to eliminate the National Security Council’s global health security unit and demote its pandemic experts. It was a tiny office, but it had huge responsibilities. Its main job was to serve as an early-warning system for impending pandemics. “We definitely would have been sending up flares,” the unit’s former senior director, Beth Cameron, tells TIME. In the case of a global health emergency, its experts were in charge of helping coordinate the dozens of institutions—health agencies, hospitals, and state and local -governments—that must respond in a crisis. Bolton, long gone from the Administration, defended his reorganization of the NSC on Twitter as COVID-19 spread. But those on the front lines of the crisis felt its absence. “We worked very well with that office,” Fauci told Congress on March 11. “It would be nice if the office was still there.” Asked on March 13 about the decision to shut down the unit, Trump again sidestepped responsibility. “I didn’t do it,” he said, adding, “I don’t know anything about it.”

One of the most troubling aspects of the federal government’s covid-19 response is the government’s inability to provide life-sustaining base life-saving basics to our healthcare workers and essential personnel. The shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE), ventilators, and even covid-19 test kits are pervasive and systemic.

Trump says he cares about “the workers” and the people but the body count and death tolls tell a different story. When US Navy Captain Brett Crozier advocated passionately for his sailors on the USS Theodore Roosevelt, Trump got rid of him in order to silence his voice.

The BBC reported on April 3, 2020, that 

In a letter, Captain Brett Crozier had urged his superiors to act to prevent US troops dying outside of wartime. But acting US Navy Secretary Thomas Modly said the commander “exercised extremely poor judgment” Mr Modly told reporters that Capt Crozier was being fired for allegedly leaking the letter to the media. He said the letter “created the impression the Navy was not responding to his questions”. “It creates the perception the Navy is not on the job; the government is not on the job. That’s just not true.”

Capt Crozier had called for “decisive action”, saying uninfected sailors had to be removed from the ship and isolated.

On April 15, 2020 Business Insider reported that, 

“The Navy announced the first few coronavirus cases aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt on March 24. At that time, there were only three confirmed cases. As of Wednesday [4/15/20], the number of sailors assigned to the carrier who have tested positive for the virus had climbed to 615, around 12% of the ship’s crew and its embarked squadrons and staffs. […] Among the sailors who have tested positive, five are presently in the hospital, with one in intensive care. On Monday, a USS Theodore Roosevelt crewmember died of coronavirus-related complications after being found unresponsive in isolation and placed in the ICU at a local military hospital.”

Capt Crozier was right. The cramped quarters on the USS Theodore Roosevelt did help spread the virus to the crew, just like we have seen in cruise ships. Now one crewmember is dead and others are fighting for their lives outside of wartime.

No matter what President Trump says, this is a pandemic, not wartime.

Trump has established a pattern where he attacks his critics or anyone who deviates from his manufactured narrative. The removal of Inspector General Michael Atkinson was certainly not a coincidence. This was Trump enacting his revenge. I am not the only one implying this, on April 8, 2020, Politico reported that “a bipartisan group of senators is demanding that President Donald Trump explain why he fired the intelligence community’s top watchdog, writing in a letter late Wednesday (4/8/20) that the president’s stated reasoning was “not sufficient.”

CNN’s Chris Cillizza said April 6, 2020,

In Trump’s mind, every single person in the administration works for him and therefore needs to be entirely loyal to him. Job descriptions, oversight, necessary independence are all brushed aside as excuses. For Trump, you either are on his team or you are an enemy. It’s how he has always seen the world as two-sided: Pro-Trump and anti-Trump.

While viewing things that way is OK in private industry, it’s a deep misunderstanding of how our government is built to work. The President isn’t a king or an emperor. This is a democracy where the peoples’ will matters. There are checks and balances purposely built into the system to ensure that the voice of anyone in government who sees a problem feels comfortable saying, “This isn’t right.”

Trump doesn’t — or chooses not to — understand the difference between his old job and his new one. But we shouldn’t make the same mistake. This isn’t Trump’s government. It’s all of ours.

Chris Cillizza is right. Trump is gutting our democracy while we, the people, are fighting for our lives.

Look at the hot spots with respect to the covid-19 pandemic; New York City, New Orleans, Detroit, Chicago, Miami, and Los Angeles. All the people in our urban centers are being decimated by the covid-19 virus.

In New York City they are placing human corpses in refrigerator trucks and they have had to shorten the time for a family to claim bodies and if your body is not claimed in this short time frame you are buried at Hart Island. NYC mayor said in a tweet, “The heartbreaking numbers of deaths we’re seeing means we are sadly losing more people without family or friends to bury them privately. Those are the people who will be buried on Hart Island, with every measure of respect and dignity New York City can provide.” 

According to CNN, NYC press secretary Freddi Goldstein said that Hart Island has been used by the city as a public cemetery for over 150 years and is managed by the Department of Correction. The Hart island burials are mostly people who have been unclaimed at the city’s morgue for anywhere from 30 to 60 days. Now that time frame has been shortened to 14 days. 

Usually, about 25 people are buried on the island each week, Goldstein said. But since coronavirus began claiming victims in the US, she said there are 25 people buried there each day.

President Donald J Trump continues to provide lackluster leadership as well as deception and lies to the American people. 

Where is the accountability?? 

November 2020 is approaching quickly! 

I refuse to remain silent. What will you do?  

Dare to struggle, Dare to win, All power to the people!! 

-Comrade Malik. 

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In solidarity, Prison conditions

Covid-19 Update USP Pollock Louisiana

By Keith Malik Washington, IWOC

Peace and Blessings Sisters and Brothers. Today is April 2nd, 2020.

I am delivering my Covid-19 update from inside USP Pollock which is located in Pollock Louisiana, near the city of Alexandria. For those who have been following my updates, you have already confirmed the death of a prisoner housed at our sister facility, FCI Oakdale Louisiana. Our prayers and condolences are extended to the family members and loved ones of our fallen comrade. On April 1st, 2020, I woke up to more restrictive modified operations at USP Pollock, As well as a rumor being circulated of one BoP employee and one prisoner here at USP Pollock suspected of having contracted the Covid-19 virus. Thus far, this is just an inmate rumor. Many I must ask for your help in contacting the complex warden, Chris McConnell. In order to ascertain the validity of this rumor. It wouldn’t be surprising that someone here contracted the virus. BoP employees are allowed to come and go daily, in and out of the  FCC(?) complex at Pollock.

Sisters and Brothers, the number one carriers and transmitters of the coronavirus here at USP Pollock, will be BoP employees. Thus far, all officers are screened before entering the facility, and they are asked to self report any suspected contacts they may have had with high risk persons. We the prisoners at USP Pollock, continue to be subjected to ever increasing restrictions, yet the employees come and go as they please. There are numerous open cells here at USP Pollock, and there are numerous empty units. We propose that officers assigned to the housing units begin to stay here, rather than leave the facility daily. This may sound like a drastic measure, but please understand comrades, drastic times require drastic measures. The state of Louisiana is number two in deaths per capita from the Covid-19 virus. Prisons, by design, are a super confined environment, and once the coronavirus is introduced to the prison population, it will spread like wildfire. As we have seen with FCI Oakdale, death is an inevitable consequence of Covid-19 infections, within the confined federal prison environment. Early on in this report, I mentioned that the BoP has initiated more restrictive modified operations here at USP Pollock. For clarifications sake, let me say that these new restrictive measures are now system wide. Here at USP Pollock, only 8 cells are allowed on that flats at one time. Previously 16 cells were allowed out for two hours a day, in order to allow prisoners access to phones, emails and showers. The cells here at USP Pollock are designed to house two people. In light of these new restrictions, I will only be allowed out of my cell every other day. So my access to the phones, email and shower will be cut in half.

On its face, these new measures are an attempt by the BoP to adhere more closely to CDC recommendations for social distancing, as well as limiting the amount of prisoners allowed out of their cells at one time. It is imperative (emphasis added), that I highlight once again, that most of my fellow prisoners here are healthy are(?) risk the Covid-19 from BoP employees and not each other! Please understand this point!

In closing, I report that yesterday on April 1st, 2020 I report that my case manager, Mr. Carter, had me sign my application for Federal halfway house, and the transfer of my primary address to San Francisco, California. I ask all of you, once again, to please contact the Bureau of Prisons, and strongly encourage them to release me to my primary release address, which is the address for the San Francisco Bayview National Black Newspaper. Or, release me to Federal halfway house, as soon as possible. With your support, my transition to free society will be successful. Free world support is so very important! Please continue to stay healthy and practice distancing, but by no means stop being social with one another. Love one another, care one another, Communication rules the nation, comrades. Until my next report, I extend my clenched fist salute and say “Panther Love” to all of my comrades, allies and loved ones.

Solidarity Forever,

This is Comrade Malik, signing off.

 

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In solidarity, Prison conditions

CoVid-19 Urgent Update (FREE OUR ELDERS!!)    USP Pollock & Surrounding Areas

By Keith ‘Malik’ Washington
INCARCERATED WORKERS ORGANIZING COMMITTEE

Revolutionary Greetings Comrades! Today is Saturday, April 4th, 2020.  I want all of you reading this report to know that I am committed to providing you with Accurate and Truthful information regarding the conditions inside the Federal U.S. Penitentiary at Pollock, Louisiana as well as the surrounding area which includes–F.C.I. Oakdale.

As the Coronavirus Pandemic ravages Amerika, we are seeing the virus begin to take a deadly toll on Federal Prisoners in Louisiana. In Last Sundays report, I informed you about the situation at FCI Oakdale. The most recent information coming out of FCI Oakdale reveals a worsening situation.  FCI Oakdale now has at least Eleven(11) confirmed cases of CoVid-19.  The facility has 19 (nineteen) suspected CoVid-19 cases. Those individuals have been quarantined. As of today April 4th, 2020 there have been Four Prisoner Deaths at FCI Oakdale as a result of CoVid-19.

I will be adding more to this report in a couple days. I want all of you to begin to think about how we can Free our Respected Elders from these Federal Slave Kamps! Next time I will be focusing my energy on that Topic!!

In solidarity forever!!! Comrade Malik!!!

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End Prison Slavery, In solidarity, Prison conditions

Urgent COVID-19 Update Follow Up! Federal USP Pollock, Louisiana and Surrounding Areas

Peace and Blessings Everyone!  Please, I ask that you share this update far and wide.  Please Utilize Social Media Platforms.  In Solidarity, Love and Respect Malik

by Keith ‘Malik’ Washington    Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee

Today is Sunday, March 29th, 2020.  This is a follow-up report to an Urgent Update that I released last Sunday, March 22nd, 2020.  This specific report details recent events in regard to the Covid-19 Pandemic within Facilities Operated by the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

Please be advised that there has been a Deliberate Attempt by the Main-Stream Media and The White House to ignore the Deadly impact Covid-19 has been having on Amerika’s World Leading Prison Population.

On the morning of March 29th, 2020 I interviewed a Registered Nurse who works for the Federal Bureau of Prisons.  The Nurse requested that I not use their name.  I will respect this employees request to remain Anonymous.

It was reported to me that there have been 8 Positive Cases of Covid-19 at Federal Correctional Institution Oakdale which is located in Oakdale, Louisiana.  FCI Oakdale is the “Sister Facility” to USP Pollock.  Of the 8 Cases at FCI Oakdale, 6 are prisoners and 2 are B.O.P. employees.  There has been One Death at FCI Oakdale connected to the Covid-19 Virus!  There are 6 Prisoners currently on ventilators at the facility.

FCI Oakdale is approximately 30 miles from USP Pollock.  FCI Oakdale is a Care Level 2 Facility.  Care Level 2 is a designation which Alerts the Public as well as B.O.P. staff that the prisoners housed at Oakdale have greater health care needs and those prisoners  are more vulnerable to catching the Covid-19 Virus.  This is reflected in the 8 Cases and one Death I have described here.

Much closer to USP Pollock is the city of Alexandria, Louisiana.  It has been reported to me that there are over 54 Cases of Covid-19  split between two Public Hospitals.  The name of the Hospitals are Rapides and Cabrini Hospital.
Thus far, we have no reported cases of Covid-19 at USP Pollock.   Employees at FCC Complex Pollock are screened for Covid-19 prior to entering the Complex daily.  However, Mandatory Testing Has Not been initiated at USP Pollock except for those who show Symptoms after being Screened.  The Virus continues to edge closer to USP Pollock and it will take more than Luck for us to Pre-empt the spread of the Virus.

On Friday–March 27th, 2020 —Prison Administrators here at USP Pollock approved the admittance of numerous prisoners from various Federal Detention Centers and County Jails in the Area.  These New Admissions WERE NOT tested for Covid–19.  Nevertheless, the prisoners were placed in Single Cells and placed on Quarantine for 14 days.  The New Federal Prisoners
were housed on Unit B-3 here at USP Pollock which is located on B-Building.  B-Building is the same Building where I and many other Healthy Prisoners are Housed.

I spoke to a  B.O.P. employee about the new arrivals and was told that the prisoners would be monitored closely for Covid-19 symptoms.  I would like to point out that the Covid-19 virus can become AIRBORNE AND COULD SPREAD THROUGH THE HVAC SYSTEM WHICH CONNECTS WITH EVERY INDIVIDUAL CELL THROUGHOUT B-BUILDING!

It is my opinion and the opinion of many prisoners here at USP Pollock that All New Commits should first and foremost be TESTED for Covid-19 BEFORE BEING BROUGHT INTO THIS ISOLATED AND STERILE ENVIRONMENT AT USP POLLOCK WHICH HAS REMAINED VIRUS FREE!

My Advocacy for Covid–19 Testing for All B.O.P. Employees and All B.O.P. Prisoners is grounded in Science and Fact Based Evidence.  Inorder to Mitigate and Contain the Covid-19 virus, Testing and Technology must be implemented immediately.  Technology can enable the Federal Government to perform Contact Tracing.  By now we all know that a person can be infected with the Covid-19 Virus and Transmit the Virus Yet Show No Symptoms what-so-ever!

Testing alleviates all the guess work in assessing whether a prisoner or B.O.P. employee has been infected.
Numerous B.O.P. employees have said to me that they do not believe that the Federal Government has enough Covid-19 Test Kits available for the B.O.P.  I ask that all human beings with a conscience help us contact prison officials here at USP Pollock as well as officials in Washington D.C. and INSIST THAT MASS COVID-19 TESTING BE DONE THROUGHOUT THE B.O.P. IMMEDIATELY.

Finally, it has been reported that U.S. Attorney General William Barr has instructed the B.O.P. to Release to Home Confinement Older Prisoners and those with chronic conditions who may be more vulnerable to contracting the Covid-19 Virus.
PLEASE I ASK ALL OF YOU READING THIS REPORT TO CONTACT THE B.O.P. AND ENCOURAGE THE AGENCY TO RELEASE ME AS SOON AS IS HUMANLY POSSIBLE!!
It is my wish to aid the Editor of the San Francisco Bay View-National Black Newspaper in preserving and sustaining this one of kind National Black Newspaper which serves the hundreds of thousands and literally Millions of prisoners trapped in Amerikan Prisons and Jails.   I DO NOT WANT TO BECOME A CASUALTY OF THE B.O.P.’s  FLAWED COVID–19 PANDEMIC STRATEGY!     I will continue to Report.   Be advised that USP Pollock is continually placed on Lockdown and my ability to Report continues to be obstructed and sabotaged.   I WILL NOT EVER GIVE UP!!

Dare to struggle, Dare to Win,  All Power to the People!!
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