The journalists at BuzzFeed News are proud to bring you trustworthy and relevant reporting about the coronavirus. To help keep this news free, become a member and sign up for our newsletter, Outbreak Today.
Convicted rapist Harvey Weinstein has tested positive for the coronavirus while in prison, an official briefed on the matter confirmed to BuzzFeed News.
Weinstein was immediately taken into custody upon conviction. Before he entered New York City’s jail system, he was treated at Bellevue Hospital and was later transferred to Rikers Island jail in New York City.
After his March 11 sentencing to 23 years, he was again taken to Bellevue Hospital, and later transferred back to Rikers as he waited to be moved to a state prison.
Rikers is facing one of the country’s worst reported coronavirus outbreaks, with at least 38 people testing positive as of last week.
On March 19, Weinstein was taken to a maximum-security prison outside Buffalo, Wende Correctional Facility, in the town of Alden in Erie County.
A spokesperson for the state Department of Corrections and Community Supervision refused to comment on Weinstein because of privacy laws, though the spokesperson did say two inmates at the facility have tested positive.
“The Department cannot comment on an individual’s medical record. However, we can confirm that two of the Department’s approximately 43,000 incarcerated individuals, both at Wende Correctional Facility, have confirmed cases. With each confirmed case, DOCCS worked with the Department of Health to identify any potentially exposed individuals in order to provide notifications and to stop the spread of the virus,” the spokesperson told BuzzFeed News.
Juda Engelmayer, a spokesman for Weinstein, said Sunday evening he was unaware of Weinstein’s status.
“Our team that has HIPAA consent has not heard anything like that yet,” he told BuzzFeed News.
Additional reporting by Tanya Chen and Claudia Koerner.