Coronavirus cases in the United States approach 5 million

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When James Giannetta first called his brother Russ at the end of June to tell him that the coronavirus was starting to spread in his federal prison in Texas, Russ could hear the fear in his voice. “This place is blowing up,” James warns.

Russ soon received another call: James, a 65-year-old inmate with diabetes and HIV, had himself tested positive for the virus. A few days later, he was rushed to hospital as his oxygen level plummeted. A few weeks later, after his condition deteriorated and he was placed on a ventilator, he was dead.

As the coronavirus has spread rapidly through prisons and prisons across the country in recent months, the Texas lock-up where Giannetta spent his last days has become the hardest-hit federal prison in the United States.

More than 1,300 of the approximately 1,750 prisoners at FCI Seagoville prison and camp have tested positive for the virus, according to data from the Federal Bureau of Prisons – an astonishing three in four inmates.

So far, three prison inmates, including Giannetta, have died from Covid-19.

Five Seagoville inmates told CNN in phone interviews from behind bars that they feared for their lives as the virus rushed through the Dallas area jail, and overcrowded conditions made it virtually impossible for them to survive. them to remain socially distant.

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