- The Washington Times - Sunday, March 22, 2020

The coronavirus spread through New York has now hit perhaps its most high-profile prison inmate.

Harvey Weinstein tested positive for the deadly virus that is sweeping through America, according to an upstate New York newspaper.

Citing “officials connected to the state prison system,” the Niagara Gazette reported Sunday evening that Weinstein is one of two inmates at the Wende Correctional Facility carrying the virus.

Weinstein was transferred to Wende, which is near Buffalo, from the Rikers Island jail where he was held after being found guilty of two charges of a criminal sex act and rape in the third degree. He was sentenced to 23 years in prison.

State officials believe, according to the Niagara Gazette, that Weinstein’s coronavirus exposure happened before he was transferred to Wende, a routine stop in the assignation of most state prisoners.

Michael Powers, president of the New York State Correctional Officers and Police Benevolent Association, said that while he could not comment on Weinstein in particular, he said his union has asked state officials to stop “nonessential” transfers of inmates from one state facility to another during the coronavirus emergency.

“There is no better breeding ground for this virus than a closed environment such as a correctional facility,” he said.

Weinstein representatives, when reached by Variety, told the entertainment newspaper they could neither confirm nor comment.

“No one on the legal defense team has been told this. Period. We cannot confirm that, nor care to comment on speculation,” one representative told Variety.

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