Public transport & Corona: When the commute becomes a health risk

Dhe subway carried the virus through New York. From Brooklyn to Queens, from Manhattan to the Bronx. 25 lines, 380 route kilometers, almost five million passengers on a normal working day – the perfect virus scraper, as the economist Jeffrey E. Harris from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge (USA) concludes in a recent study.

Harris highlighted the relationship between traffic and infection numbers. Public transport, so summarizes the expert was largely, if not mainly, responsible for the virus being able to spread so widely in the metropolis.

And in Germany? The subways and buses in many big cities are just starting to roll up again. Which turns the risk of infection into a logistical problem in everyday urban traffic.

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Two teenagers wear a respirator in the KVV.GES bus / Daily life in Germany during the corona crisis, 20.04.2020GES / Daily life during the corona crisis in Baden-Wuerttemberg, Germany. April 20, 2020 Icon Image (Posed Scene) | Use worldwide

Gradually the businesses reopen and the first pupils can go back to school, the transport companies are again registering increasing passenger numbers. All federal states are now making the mask a mandatory accessory on public transport, it is informed and announced. At the same time, the minimum distance of 1.5 meters is already only a theoretical ideal in many places.

Hamburg on a Tuesday afternoon. There are about 20 passengers on the number 5 bus towards the city center – none of them wear a mouth-nose guard. The people are spread out over the entire length of the bus, everyone is sitting alone, only a man and a woman almost touch each other with the back of their heads. When more passengers get on at Dammtorbahnhof, one of the city’s transport hubs, the distance is over.

“You have noticed an increase in passenger numbers since Monday morning,” says Christoph Kreienbaum, spokesman for the Hamburg elevated railway. Buses in particular would be used more. In some cases, they have already “readjusted” so that the passengers can still keep the safety distance if possible. In current operation, the drivers would report when it got too crowded at certain points. Then buses would also be used on busy routes. “This affects, for example, the lines to the clinics or to Airbus,” says Kreienbaum. You can do this by using reserve buses or by pulling buses off the lines where there is little demand.

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Peter Tauber (CDU) is Parliamentary State Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Defense

However, nothing will change with the subways – unlike others Big cities Hamburg has largely maintained its normal clock rate since the beginning of the Corona crisis. “We wanted to show people that they can drive safely at their usual times and also keep a distance from each other,” says the Hochbahn spokesman. For this one had to accept the one or the other “ghost ride”. In general, it makes little sense to reduce the clocking if you want to keep the distance between the passengers as good as possible.

“Unfortunately, the BVG has gambled away trust”

In Berlin it is obviously different. The BVG had already reduced the subway frequency in March to take account of the falling demand, subways only ran every ten minutes. The Berlin transport company had to take a lot of criticism for this: pictures of full trains circulate in the social networks; Jens Wieseke, spokesman for the Berlin Passenger Association IGEB, never tired of criticizing the situation and calling for a return to normal operation.

Gradually fills up again: the Berlin subway

Gradually fills up again: the Berlin subway

Source: dpa

“Unfortunately, the BVG has gambled away trust,” says Wieseke WELT. “It is true that fewer people are on the move. But they also need a lot more space. ”Wieseke reports about a nurse who contacted him. “She had to wait half an hour for her bus on the way to work. And then it was very full. ”The woman worked on a ward with corona patients. It was irresponsible to the passengers.

BVG spokeswoman Petra Nelken is calm. “Public transport is fundamentally not built to keep a distance of 1.5 meters,” she says. That applies to Berlin as well as to any other big city in the world. The subway lines 2, 5 and 7 already run in normal intervals anyway, from May 4 the BVG will then return completely to the normal schedule. To do that Contagion risk to minimize, is now also asked every single passenger.

“It would be helpful, for example, if people would use the cars in the middle more often and not get into the first or last car,” says Nelken. A certain flexibility in travel times is also desirable. “When the train is particularly busy in the morning at 7.27 a.m., everyone should consider whether, in case of doubt, they can also take a train or two later to avoid crowds.”

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kombo corona everyday Philip Davali / Ritzau Scanpix / dpa, Getty Images, Michal Cizek / AFP, ISNA / AFP, REUTERS / Mike Hutchings, Tiziana FABI / AFP

International comparison

Whether in Hamburg or Berlin: Upon WELT demand, the transport companies welcome the future Mask requirement expressly. One recommendation alone was simply not enough, according to the Hamburg City Hall. There are still discussions about possible punishments – it is also not yet clear who should hold the maskless to account. In Hamburg, the new regulation is to be poured into an ordinance, the police would then be the supervisory body. Overall, however, they rely heavily on passenger cooperation, it is said from all three cities.

However, it is also true that experts are still divided over what mouth and nose protection actually brings. Infectiologist Klaus-Dieter Zastrow recently emphasized in the WELT interview that the masks are “the crucial thing that can really prevent the infection” – the Robert Koch Institute, on the other hand, had even warned at the beginning of the pandemic about a deceptive feeling of security that the masks conveyed will.

Keeping clear is still listed on the institute’s homepage as the most important measure in the fight against virus spread. Wearing the Face protection could be an additional building block to reduce the rate of spread of Covid-19 in the population – “but only if distance (at least 1.5 meters) from other people, cough and sneeze rules and good hand hygiene are maintained”. Infectious disease specialist Zastrow not only advises you to wear a mask, but also recommends disinfectant in your jacket pocket (“if you have touched the bar”) and wearing household gloves.

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Purely formally, says Lars Wagner from the Association of German Transport Companies, the minimum distance in public transport does not apply. However, the companies would endeavor to have as many buses and trains as possible, to guarantee as much space as possible. “But companies cannot use more than 100 percent – there is a limit,” he says.

In addition to the hygiene risks for passengers, the transport companies currently have a completely different problem: According to WELT information, the association anticipates a loss in sales of up to one billion euros per month. “Obviously, if people stay at home, a lot of the ticket revenue will go away. We will have to talk to politicians about making up for this loss of revenue, ”says spokesman Lars Wagner.

And also has bad news for illegal drivers: “Despite Corona, controls are still being carried out.” Although the elevated train in Hamburg, for example, does not carry out checks on the stairway to prevent people from getting stuck. The inspectors are still traveling on trains and buses. With a face mask, of course.

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1-16-9 author combo-XI853726-2

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Of carnivores and corona viruses


The current pandemic is reminiscent of the plagues of cultural history. Again, man is threatened in his world domination. He is no match for the tiny beings. A bestiary of the hostile, nasty fauna from the bacillus to the bed bug. .

Coronavirus: in New Rochelle, “we try not to panic too much” – Release

Coronavirus: in New Rochelle, “we try not to panic too much” Liberation.

“The Edge” in New York: New spectacular platform opened

City trips “The Edge”

Spectacular viewing platform opens in New York

If you are not afraid of heights, you usually want to see New York from above. Empire State Building, Rockefeller Center and One World Trade Center offer the best views of the city. Now a new viewing platform is competing with them.

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The computer-generated image shows the new viewing platform “The Edge” on the 100th floor of the “30 Hudson Yards” skyscraper

Source: dpa

B“The Edge” could only be admired from below. The pointed, glass platform rises like a beak from the 100th floor of the “30 Hudson Yards” skyscraper in New York. From March 11th, however, visitors are allowed to – according to the owners – the highest public outdoor viewing terrace in the western world.

The terrace with a transparent glass floor “hangs in the air, which gives you the feeling of floating in the sky, with a 360-degree view that you cannot find anywhere else,” advertise the operators. “You’ve never seen New York like this.”

The curiosity about the spectacular new viewing platform at 335 meters, even in New York, spoiled by the view, is huge. Many of the around $ 36 tickets were sold out in advance. At the same time, the new terrace is heating up the competition of the viewing platforms in the metropolis of New York, which almost everyone with a head for heights would like to look down on.

Viewing platforms competing in New York

It was five years ago that a new observation platform opened in Manhattan: “One World Observatory” on the One World Trade Center was built where the attacks of September 11, 2001 brought the twin towers of the old World Trade Center to collapse.

The other two competitors in the competition for panorama visitors are long-established: “Top of the Rock”, the up to around 260 meters high terraces on the Rockefeller Center opened in 2005, and the viewing platforms of the Empire State Building.

The spectacular view from the new World Trade Center

Almost 14 years after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, it seems that the New Yorkers can make peace with their history – also thanks to the viewing platform of the new World Trade Center.

New York fans can argue for hours about which terrace is the best. The fact is: The platforms of the One World Trade Center and the Empire State Building are the highest at around 380 meters, the Rockefeller Center has a huge outdoor area for this. The admission prices are similar – and so is the view.

The terrace offers a new view of the city

Because of this, the operators of the attractions have to come up with more and more ideas in the competition for ticket sales. Gastronomy and souvenir shops alone are no longer enough.

The “One World Observatory” was the first to expand the visit into a multimedia experience – for example with a video show in the elevators. The almost 90-year-old Empire State Building recently followed suit with a complete renovation.

Here you can marvel at New York’s skyline with King Kong

Work on the Empire State Building took four years. A remarkable new interior was created, with a viewing platform and interactive exhibitions. Even King Kong blinked enviously through the window panes.

Source: WELT / Steffen Schwarzkopf

The famous building in the middle of Manhattan has also been ahead of the competition for visitors: around four million people come to the viewing platforms of the Empire State Building each year, around half of whom are amazed by the Rockefeller Center or the One World Trade Center.

Now “The Edge” wants to get involved in this market in the new Hudson Yards district in western Manhattan. Around 60 million New York visitors a year are enough potential customers for a fourth viewing platform, the operators hope.

The pointed viewing platform “The Edge” rises into the night sky like a beak

Source: dpa

In addition, the new terrace is very different from the others. “That may sound trite, but it’s a fresh look,” says John Kelly of Related Companies, the design and construction company that designed and built the neighborhood.

“It’s an outdoor area of ​​700 square meters. You don’t walk around in the structure of a building where everything is restricted. It’s like a big open air space. ”

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Branch of the Metropolitan Museum of Art: The Cloisters in northern Manhattan (New York) was built with original parts of buildings from French monasteries

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If you stand on the glass observation deck and look 335 meters deep, you should be free from giddiness

Source: dpa

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The New York man linked to the Westchester attorney has coronavirus

A Manhattan man in his fifties is the last person to positively test coronavirus in New York City, bringing the total number of cases in the Big Apple to five, said Mayor de Blasio on Friday.

The latest case is associated with Lawrence Garbuz, 50, the downtown attorney hospitalized under stable conditions at the New York-Presbyterian / Columbia Medical Center.

“He has mild symptoms,” said de Blasio on Friday at WNYC.

City disease investigators are testing the Manhattan man’s family and monitoring its past movements, added de Blasio.

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Rabbi connected to New Rochelle Lawyer Test Positive – CBS New York

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Furious lawyers attempting to “lift hell” as MCC Lockdown enters Day 8 – NBC New York

What to know

  • Numerous pre-trial detainees moved from the Metropolitan Correctional Center to Otisville as the blockade of the MCC facility reaches its eighth day – all while continuing the search for an alleged contraband gun
  • Federal Defender Bureau chief David Patton says defense attorneys have not yet been able to meet most clients before the trial for the eight days the MCC was blocked
  • Investigators are focusing on the fact that a corrections officer at the MCC helped smuggle a gun to a prisoner, according to sources already reported in News 4

Numerous pre-trial detainees moved from the Metropolitan Correctional Center to Otisville as the MCC blockade reaches its eighth day – all while continuing the search for an alleged contraband gun.

The head of the Federal Defenders Office in Manhattan said many MCC detainees had been transferred to Otisville, including some that are scheduled to go to court Thursday and Friday.

David Patton, head of the Federal Defenders Office, said defense lawyers had not yet been able to meet most clients before the trial for the eight days the MCC was blocked.

“Let’s get in to see our clients,” Patton said Thursday, adding that defense attorneys are trying to “lift hell” with the MCC and through the courts to gain access to their clients.

Investigators are focusing on whether a corrections officer at the MCC helped smuggle a gun into a detainee, sources previously told News 4.

Defense attorneys representing MCC detainees who were questioned by the authorities earlier said that the focus is on this theory and subsequent investigations have left them unable to see their clients.

On Thursday, the MCC released a statement stating that lawyers could start meeting clients again on Friday, floor by floor. The prosecutor’s visit could be resumed next week.

The BOP says their officials met with the New York southern district chief judge, federal defenders, US marshals, and the U.S. attorney’s office to explain the ongoing issues.

The BOP and MCC claim that inmates regularly receive hot meals, have access to medical care and are now taking a rotating shower – a statement Patton said was inaccurate. He claims that many customers have been closed 24 hours a day in the past eight days.

In the meantime, the BOP said that more time is needed to complete an in-depth investigation. However, Patton said that the time taken is the result of “sheer incompetence and total lack of concern for constitutional rights and human conditions” for the defendants.

“It’s worse than the solitary confinement and the BOP doesn’t give a damn,” Patton said in an email to News 4.

That hunt for the alleged weapon forced extensive research into the facility, both in the common areas and in individual cells, and prompted federal officials to bring teams out of town to assist in the search. Meanwhile, as the probe continues, the detainees said they have been denied access to telephones, computers and showers and are getting cold sandwiches pushed through the food ports.

The BOP said that visits from detainees’ families and friends may resume later next week, or perhaps sooner.

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New York City lawyer, family, neighbors infected with coronavirus

A Manhattan lawyer who contracted the 2019 coronavirus novel was in critical condition on Wednesday and his wife, son, daughter and several neighbors were also infected.

Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that the new cases – bringing the total number of confirmed New York patients to 11 – were all related to the attorney, who lives in Westchester County. Cuomo said the man had an underlying health condition, exposing him to a greater risk of serious infection.

The infected lawyer entered a suburban hospital on February 27 with respiratory problems and was reportedly diagnosed four days later. He remained in critical condition at the Irving Medical Center in New York-Presbyterian / Columbia University in Manhattan, according to health officials. The firm was said to be a studio of seven boutique lawyers in Manhattan located across 42nd street from Grand Central Terminal, where reportedly the initial patient would commute on the Metro-North Railroad from a New Rochelle home.

“We are dealing with a coronavirus epidemic,” said Cuomo. “We have a bigger problem, which is a fear pandemic, and the anxiety here is overcoming the reality of the situation.”

During a press conference on Wednesday, Cuomo said his 20-year-old son and 14-year-old daughter were also confirmed cases that would remain in quarantine in their New Rochelle home.

“I am shocked by this news,” said Hilary Kolodin, a former client of the infected attorney, whose identity has not been released by the authorities. “[He] he is a wonderful family man and person and has treated what has been a very emotional and personal case with incredible care and intuition. It made me pass the worst moment of my life, and my heart is broken by the fact that he and his family are going through this. “

“I am heartbroken for him, his wife and children,” he added.

Another woman, the first case in New York, had previously been reported as self-isolated at home after returning from a trip abroad to Iran.

Officials from the University of Yeshiva confirmed early Wednesday that the attorney’s college-age son had tested positive for the virus and had started countermeasures.

“Unfortunately, we received news this morning that our student tested positive for COVID-19,” the private university announced Wednesday morning in a press release. “Our thoughts and prayers are with him and his family, as well as with all those affected.” The school said Wednesday will cancel all lessons at Washington Heights’ Wilf Campus, but that no other operation would change.

“We understand that recent news is about and we want to reassure you that we have worked closely with New York health officials and external specialists, all day and all evening, to take all necessary precautions to ensure the safety of our community. , “He said a statement from the school.

Meanwhile, the attorney’s teenage daughter reportedly attends SAR Academy and High School in the Bronx, which was closed out of abundance of caution, according to the city health authority.

“The source of the COVID-19 infection is unknown,” said a statement from the New York City Department of Health. “The health department has provided on-site assistance in all three locations and will follow close family contacts. The Department of Health’s disease detectives are identifying anyone who has had close contact with these three individuals for coronavirus tests. “

Westchester County Commissioner for Health, Dr. Sherlita Amler, on Tuesday directed young Israel from New Rochelle, the synagogue allegedly attended by the attorney’s family, to immediately stop all services “and for the foreseeable future” in case of potential exposure.

“Temple congregates who attended services on February 22 and a temple funeral and bat mitzvah on February 23 must self-quarantine until March 8 as soon as possible,” said a press release from the department’s county. “Those who do not self-quarantine will be instructed by the county health department to do so.”

Cuomo reiterated Wednesday that officials are expecting many more confirmed cases in New York, but this was not a cause for panic. “By definition, the more you test, the more people you find will be positive,” he told reporters.

As Oren Barzilay, president of FDNY EMS Local 2507, told The Daily Beast on Wednesday: “Everyone knows that New York City is the capital of the world.”

“We have a lot of people in our transit system day after day, so the probability of cross contamination is very high,” said Barzilay. “If this is not checked in the near future, we are anticipating that more people will be infected with this.”

As of Wednesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had reported 129 cases in the United States, including 80 collected through the public health system in 13 states. (The agency noted that states may be able to confirm further cases before reporting them to the federal government.) The rest of the cases were related to planes hired by the State Department of the virus epicenter in Wuhan, China, or to the disastrous cruise ship Diamond Princess in Japan. Ten people had died in the United States in early Wednesday and public health emergencies were reported this week in Washington State; Florida; Bexar County, Texas; and Los Angeles County, California.

Local New York health officials, for their part, have promised transparency in the days ahead.

“Now more than ever, New Yorkers must come together as a city to limit the spread of COVID-19. If you have symptoms such as cough, fever or shortness of breath, call your doctor, “said New York City Health Commissioner Dr. Oxiris Barbot in a statement.” The Department of Health will do everything possible to minimize the the interruption caused by this evolving situation and we will continue to communicate openly and honestly with New Yorkers. “

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MCC enters block day 7, unclear when operations will return to normal – NBC New York

What to know

  • The Metropolitan Correctional Center has entered its seventh day of lockout – with no certain date in sight as to when the facility will return to normal operations, according to memos obtained from News 4
  • A detainee bulletin dated Tuesday said that “the SIS department is investigating and once we have collected the necessary information, the decision will be taken to bring the facility back to normal operations.”
  • Investigators are focusing on whether an MCC corrections officer helped smuggle a gun into a detainee, sources said earlier.

The blockade at the Metropolitan Correctional Center has entered its seventh day – with no certain date in sight as to when the facility will return to its normal operations, according to memos obtained from News 4.

A memo addressed to detainees on Tuesday says that “the SIS department is investigating and once we have gathered the necessary information the decision will be taken to bring the facility back to normal operations.”

The memo also states that “as long as the detainees continue to behave respectfully, we will attempt to return to normal as soon as possible without compromising security if the institution”.

“The decision to return the facility to normal operations has not yet been reviewed; however, the visit remains canceled,” says the memo in part. “I understand that this decision has adversely affected your detention period, however, please be aware that this decision was made to maintain the safety of staff and detainees.”

In a reminder dated February 27, also addressed to detainees, the MCC informs that “the institution has been placed in a locked state, as a result, all detainees will remain protected in their assigned cells until further notice”.

The MCC did not immediately respond to News 4 calls looking for comments.

A decision on returning the facility to normal operations has not yet been reviewed; however, the visit remains canceled.

Metropolitan Correctional Center memo for inmates

Investigators are focusing on the possibility that an MCC corrections officer helped smuggle a gun into a detainee, according to sources previously reported in News 4.

Defense attorneys representing MCC detainees who were questioned by the authorities earlier said that attention is focused on that theory and subsequent investigations have left them unable to see their clients.

These detainees – now potential witnesses in the investigation – tell their lawyers that the authorities are trying to confirm the theory and, if true, to find the weapon.

That gun hunt forced extensive research into the facility, both in the common areas and individual cells, and prompted federal officials to bring teams out of town to aid the search. Meanwhile, detainees say they are being denied access to telephones, computers and showers and are bringing cold sandwiches through the food doors.

The facility, the Prison Office and the United States Prosecutor’s Office have declined to comment on the suggestion that an officer may be involved. Calls to the union of officers were not returned.

The chief federal public defender in Manhattan, while not directly commenting on the theory of weapons, described the blockade as “inhuman” and “unconstitutional”.

“It’s totally unacceptable and part of a long history of mismanagement at the MCC,” said David Patton, executive director of the Federal Defenders of New York. “One of the biggest problems is the complete lack of transparency and explanation of what’s going on.”

The MCC has been under investigation since the accused child sex offender Jeffrey Epstein committed suicide in his cell. Two BOP agents were subsequently arrested for alleged falsification of documents they had checked on Epstein when prosecutors said the guards were sleeping and shopping on their computers. They pleaded not guilty to the charges.

“While true, it’s not an excuse to close the whole place. They just need to put their records together,” said Patton on the contraband theory. “If it were a private company, they would be bankrupt by now. It’s as if the Three minions over there.”

Currently the MCC houses the famous lawyer Michael Avenatti, accused of stealing from client Stormy Daniels and convicted separately for shaking Nike. Lawrence Ray, the one-time informant against former NYPD commissioner Bernard Kerik, who is now accused of sexually abusing college-age girls, is currently at MCC. Ray denied the accusations.

Mexican drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman was also hosted at the MCC before his conviction.

The BOP claims that around 700 inmates are housed in the MCC.

The director of the MCC has been moved as the investigation continues. In the meantime, the FBI broke into Epstein’s private villa in the Caribbean and President Trump had some curious words about the investigation. Reports Jonathan Dienst of New York NBC 4

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Sources – NBC New York

Investigators are focusing on the fact that a correctional officer at the Metropolitan Correctional Center helped smuggle a gun to a detainee, while a blockade at the facility enters its sixth day, legal sources tell News 4.

Defense attorneys representing MCC detainees who have been questioned by the authorities say that the focus is on this theory and subsequent investigations have left them unable to see their clients.

These detainees – now potential witnesses in the investigation – tell their lawyers that the authorities are trying to confirm the theory and, if true, to find the weapon.

That gun hunt forced extensive research into the facility, both in the common areas and individual cells, and prompted federal officials to bring teams out of town to aid the search. Meanwhile, detainees say they are being denied access to telephones, computers and showers and are bringing cold sandwiches through the food doors.

The facility, the Prison Office and the United States Prosecutor’s Office have declined to comment on the suggestion that an officer may be involved. Calls to the union of officers were not returned.

The chief federal public defender in Manhattan, while not directly commenting on the theory of weapons, described the blockade as “inhuman” and “unconstitutional”.

“It’s totally unacceptable and part of a long history of mismanagement at the MCC,” said David Patton, executive director of the Federal Defenders of New York. “One of the biggest problems is the complete lack of transparency and explanation of what’s going on.”

The MCC has been under investigation since the accused child sex offender Jeffrey Epstein committed suicide in his cell. Two BOP agents were subsequently arrested for alleged falsification of documents they had checked on Epstein when prosecutors said the guards were sleeping and shopping on their computers. They pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Currently the MCC houses the famous lawyer Michael Avenatti, accused of stealing from client Stormy Daniels and convicted separately for shaking Nike. Lawrence Ray, the one-time informant against former NYPD commissioner Bernard Kerik, who is now accused of sexually abusing college-age girls, is currently at MCC. Ray denied the accusations.

Mexican drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman was also hosted at the MCC before his conviction.

It was not clear how long the search and blocking in the MCC should take. The BOP claims that around 700 inmates are housed in the MCC.

“While true, it’s not an excuse to close the whole place. They just need to put their records together,” said Patton on the contraband theory. “If it were a private company, they would be bankrupt by now. It’s as if the Three minions over there.”

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