When Trump was doing everything he could to kill as many people on Death Row in his last month, he was also ensuring that COVID superspreader events were part of the killing.
As the Trump administration was nearing the end of an unprecedented string of executions, 70% of death row inmates were sick with COVID-19. Guards were ill. Traveling prisons staff on the execution team had the virus. So did media witnesses, who may have unknowingly infected others when they returned home because they were never told about the spreading cases.
Records obtained by The Associated Press show employees at the Indiana prison complex where the 13 executions were carried out over six months had contact with inmates and other people infected with the coronavirus, but were able to refuse testing and declined to participate in contact tracing efforts and were still permitted to return to their work assignments.
Other staff members, including those brought in to help with executions, also spread tips to their colleagues about how they could avoid quarantines and skirt public health guidance from the federal government and Indiana health officials.
The executions at the end of Donald Trump’s presidency, completed in a short window over a few weeks, likely acted as a superspreader event, according to the records reviewed by AP. It was something health experts warned could happen when the Justice Department insisted on resuming executions during a pandemic.
Also, color me less than shocked that people who serve as death row guards are also people who do everything possible to avoid complying with health guidelines in a pandemic.