AP analysis: Federal executions likely a COVID superspreader

National/World

Christina Bollo of Urbana, Illinois, holds a sign as she protests the execution of Corey Johnson, near the Federal Correctional Complex, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021, in Terre Haute, Ind. (Joseph C. Garza/The Tribune-Star via AP)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The executions at the end of Donald Trump’s presidency, completed in short windows over a few weeks, likely acted as a superspreader event.

That’s according to records reviewed by The Associated Press. It was something health experts had warned could happen when the Justice Department insisted on resuming executions during a pandemic.

By the end of 2020, 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.

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