According to a Reuters report, a staggering number of inmates from four states’ prison systems that tested positive for the Wuhan virus have been asymptomatic.
In prisons in Arkansas, North Carolina, Ohio and Virginia, 3,277 inmates received positive tests for the virus. Of those observed, 96 percent of the inmates were asymptomatic. In other words, they had no visible symptoms of the disease.
Asymptomatic patients can still spread the Wuhan virus unknowingly, which places at-risk populations in danger of catching the virus. As a result, health experts have become concerned about this aspect of pandemic and have advised state government officials to enact social distancing measures.
Asymptomatic carriers offer a unique challenge in the country’s state prison system where inmates are usually in close contact with each other.
“It adds to the understanding that we have a severe undercount of cases in the U.S.,” Leana Wen, adjunct associate professor of emergency medicine at George Washington University, told Reuters. “The case count is likely much, much higher than we currently know because of the lack of testing and surveillance.”
Michigan, Tennessee and California have kicked off mass testing in state prisons
The Hill reported on the results:
The results in those state prisons were similar; Tennessee reported a majority of its positive cases didn’t show symptoms, while Michigan reported that ‘a good number’ of the 620 positive cases showed no symptoms of the virus.
Other states, like Florida, New York, and Texas are only testing inmates who demonstrate symptoms.
“Prison agencies are almost certainly vastly undercounting the number of COVID cases among incarcerated persons,” Michele Deitch, a corrections specialist and senior lecturer at the University of Texas, informed Reuters.
“Just as the experts are telling us in our free-world communities, the only way to get ahead of this outbreak is through mass testing.”
So far, there have been 980,00 cases of Wuhan virus infections and over 55,000 virus related deaths based on data gathered by Johns Hopkins University.
Texas Political Establishment Attempts to Derail Shelley Luther’s Campaign
The special election for Texas’ Senate District 30 is on pace to be one of the most heated races in the Lone Star State.
At a candidate forum on September 18, 2020, Shelley Luther, the Dallas salon owner who was jailed for opening her business in defiance of Governor Greg Abbott’s shutdown order, confronted outgoing State Senator Pat Fallon.
Fallon vacated his seat and is now backing a successor in State Representative Drew Springer.
“We don’t want somebody who’s going to be at odds with our Republican governor,” Fallon said September 18 at the Grayson County Republican Women’s Club.
I didn’t support some of the things that he has done about opening up. … So, he’s made some mistakes. He’s our Republican governor, the 80/20 rule … because you’re not going to get any bills passed unless the governor signs them.
“Let me make something clear. I am accountable to my fellow citizens in Senate District 30. Not our Governor,” Luther responded on September 19 on Facebook:
This is exactly what is wrong with Austin. Our politicians are more loyal to Abbott than us, even when they disagree with him.
I will work with Governor Abbott when he is fighting to protect the liberty of Texans, and I will oppose him when he pushes unilateral dictates that shut down our local businesses.
Fallon and Luther had a tense exchange, which was caught on video.
“You want me to go all in on this race?” Fallon questioned Luther. “I have been 5 percent in on this race. You want me to go all in on it, I’m welcome to.”
“This has become a straight-up fight between Abbott and the ‘Kumbaya’ Professional Political Class vs. the grassroots and people who remember what limited government and principles should look like,” opined conservative activist Mike Openshaw.
“Respectfully, being willing to be jailed for fighting over-reaching government shows principle; that counts for something, Patrick,” Openshaw continued.
Luther has recently received endorsements from conservative Collin County Judge Chris Hill and Young Conservatives of Texas. Springer, on the other hand, received an endorsement from the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, which asserted that Luther was going down a “far right” path.
A Republican is expected to carry the senate district, which may still require a runoff if the leading candidate does not get enough votes during the first round of the special election.
Election Day will be on September 29.
Luther is viewed as the truly conservative option and many believe she could help break the political status quo in Austin that has kept conservative legislation from ever being passed.
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