Here in New York City, the epicenter of the U.S. crisis, the death toll from COVID-19 is nearly 1,100 and continuing to climb. The Federal Emergency Management Agency is dispatching more than 250 ambulances and 85 refrigerated trucks to New York to serve as temporary morgues.
The Intercept reports that prisoners at the Rikers Island jail are being offered $6 an hour and personal protective equipment if they agree to dig mass graves at a public cemetery on Hart Island. The coronavirus continues to spread rapidly at Rikers, where at least 167 prisoners and 137 staff members have tested positive.
In Central Park, an emergency field hospital began operations Tuesday treating spillover patients from nearby Mount Sinai Hospital. The effort is led by the Christian fundamentalist group Samaritan’s Purse, whose leader Franklin Graham is a virulently Islamophobic, anti-choice and anti-LGBTQ preacher. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio has promised to send aides to monitor the group to prevent discrimination against patients.