“A Silent Pandemic”: Nurse at ICE Facility Blows the Whistle on Coronavirus Dangers

Irwin Detention Center, run by LaSalle Corrections, has refused to test detainees and underreported Covid-19 cases, the nurse says in an article originally published by The Intercept.

A NURSE AT the Irwin County Detention Center in Georgia is speaking out about a host of dangerous medical practices at the Immigration and Customs Enforcement facility amid the coronavirus outbreak.

The whistleblower, Dawn Wooten, says that Irwin, which is run by the private corporation LaSalle Corrections, has underreported Covid-19 cases, knowingly placed staff and detainees at risk of contracting the virus, neglected medical complaints, and refused to test symptomatic detainees, among other dangerous practices. On September 8, Wooten submitted a letter detailing her complaints to the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General, with the help of attorneys from the Government Accountability Project. The grim situation inside the facility reflects what she called “a silent pandemic” running rampant behind the prison bars.

“You don’t want to see what you’re seeing,” Wooten told The Intercept. “You’re responsible for the lives of others,” but Irwin management, in her eyes, downplayed the threat of the virus from the start.

Read the full article on The Intercept website.

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Whistleblowers are essential in exposing corruption and wrongdoing and promoting both government and corporate accountability. They help bring to light illegal activities such as tax evasion, collusion and corruption. Whistleblowing can save lives, protect the environment and help stop illicit financial flows.