*A Texas’ El Paso County is reportedly paying inmates $2 an hour to move the bodies of deceased victims of the COVID-19.
According to CBS, the county has nine inmates who are working to move the bodies. Chris Acosta, public affairs director at the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office, described the prisoners as “low-level offenders” and said they are “provided full PPE by the morgue/hospital.”
“The work is 100% voluntary,” Acosta added. “It’s great that these individuals are stepping up and volunteering to assist a community in dire need of help right now.”
El Paso County has about 34,000 active COVID-19 cases, which continue to surge. While prisons rely on inmates to perform jobs for little or no pay, having prisoners move COVID victims has raised concerns about ethics.
Check out the video report above.
NEW: Chilling video of El Paso jail inmates hired to move bodies of #COVID19 deceased patients into mobile overflow morgues. Inmates wear full PPEs & paid $2/hour. They’ve been doing this tough work since Monday, before El Paso increased to 10 mobile morgues. I cry for El Paso. pic.twitter.com/KgQBpzD1mZ
— Eric Feigl-Ding (@DrEricDing) November 15, 2020
Meanwhile, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the country’s Covid-19 death toll could reach between 276,000 and 298,000 by December 12, per MSN.
“The number of deaths that we’re going to see in three weeks’ time or four weeks’ time reflects the actions that we all take right now,” said Dr. Leana Wen, an emergency physician and the former Baltimore health commissioner. She urges Americans to reconsider their Thanksgiving holiday plans for safety reasons.
“I understand that people are worried, they’re stressed, they haven’t seen their loved ones, they want to see their loved ones now more than ever,” she said. “But we really cannot do that in person, indoors, safely this Thanksgiving.”
“One of our concerns is people over the holiday season will get together and they may actually be bringing infection with them to that small gathering and not even know it,” said the CDC’s Dr. Henry Walke.