As the US is currently reeling from mounting COVID-19 daily infection rates, the nation’s prisons appear to have taken the brunt, since the inmates are held in close quarters. Due to the restrictions imposed as a measure against the coronavirus, US prisons have released thousands of inmates since the start of the pandemic.
Massachusetts Democratic Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley said members of “marginalised” communities, such as prison inmates, should be among the first to receive coronavirus vaccine shot, Fox News reported Monday. Pressley is commonly grouped with three other Democrat women in the US House of Representatives who have been dubbed “The Squad”.
“The Squad” member also posted an op-ed advocating the inmates prioritization during vaccination campaign.
Earlier this month, Washington, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser said she will prioritise prisoners in receiving the vaccine in addition to other population groups, the idea prompted a rebuke from Colorado Governor Jared Polis.
Outbreaks of the novel coronavirus outbreaks have been occurring in prisons all over the country, partly caused by prisoners or prison security transfers between facilities. According to a report, citing a survey conducted by The Marshall Project and The Associated Press, more than a dozen state prison systems said they had reduced the number of prisoners they moved during the pandemic.
“The Squad” is a group of four Democratic congresswomen: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley and Rashida Tlaib, all of them under 50 years old, from a diverse array ethnic backgrounds, who share progressive views and are thought to represent a “younger generation” in politics.