Joe “Exotic” Maldonado-Passage – Netflix star hit Tiger King – was placed in coronavirus isolation in a Texas prison, says her husband.
Maldonado-Passage, 57, is serving a 22-year sentence for animal abuse and his involvement in a rental murder plot.
He was placed in segregation when detainees from the prison where he was previously detained tested positive for the virus, said her husband, Dillon Passage.
There are currently 226,374 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the United States.
Maldonado-Passage had recently been transferred from Grady County Jail in Oklahoma to the Federal Medical Center in Fort Worth, Texas, in the United States.
“We talk three to five times a day, but since he was transferred to this new facility, they have placed him in Covid-19 segregation because of the previous prison he was in, there have been cases”, said Mr. Passage, 24. said American entertainment reporter Andy Cohen.
“I haven’t spoken to him yet since he moved. “
When asked if Maldonado-Passage was in individual quarantine, Mr. Passage replied, “As far as I know, yes. “
The US Bureau of Prisons announced on Wednesday that everyone currently detained in federal institutions – about 146,000 inmates, including the Maldonado-Passage – will be quarantined for the next 14 days.
The move comes amid an increasing number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 among those incarcerated. So far, dozens of federal inmates and at least 37 guards have tested positive.
The United States locks up more citizens per capita than any other country, with approximately 2.3 million people behind bars in federal, state, and local prisons.
Proponents of prison reform say that prisoners face an exceptional risk of infection, due to poor hygiene and overcrowding – effectively inhibiting any form of social distancing. Some US prisons have already started to release prisoners – focusing on “vulnerable” prisoners – as the number of infected prisoners continues to increase.
The chief medical officer of Rikers Island – New York’s largest prison – told the Washington Post newspaper that the current conditions are “a public health disaster unfolding before our eyes”.
Former Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, who is currently serving a 23-year sentence for rape and sexual assault, was transferred from Rikers after being tested positive earlier this month.
Maldonado-Passage – the subject of tiger-king and almost overnight celebrity slander – was convicted this year of two counts of for-hire murder and several accounts of animal abuse.
The zoo keeper, who once owned hundreds of exotic animals in his Tampa, Florida park, has been charged with ordering the murder of Carole Baskin, a prominent animal rights activist.
Passage, Maldonado-Passage’s fourth husband, told Cohen that he plans to stay with her husband while he is serving his sentence.
“I love Joe,” said Passage. “He has been there for me through my darkest moments. I’m not just going to give up and drop him when he needs me the most. “