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In full transparency, the following is a media release from Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s office. She was elected by voters in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to serve the state in Washington DC in the US Senate. She is a Democrat. (stock photo)


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Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Ed Markey (D-Mass) nine other senators are calling on the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to protect individuals in ICE custody from COVID-19 by making booster shots easily accessible.

Following a January 26 whistleblower complaint by two consulting doctors for ICE expressing grave concern about the lack of booster shots and the 800% increase in COVID-19 cases among ICE detainees, the senators asked ICE to immediately address its failure and alleviate the risk of widespread illness in already overcrowded detention facilities. 

“In spite of the CDC’s recommendations, ICE is failing to provide COVID-19 booster shots to people in ICE detention. As of January 6, 2022, ICE has administered only 671 booster shots nationwide, to the over 22,000 detainees nationwide in ICE custody each day. Advocates have reported to us that booster shots are not being made available to individuals in detention and that even educational materials about booster shots are not uniformly available. Even worse, the agency’s most recent COVID-19 Guidelines for immigration detention facilities nationwide provide no information about booster shots,” wrote the senators.

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For months, people in ICE detention facilities have been eligible for COVID-19 booster shots, but ICE has failed to deliver these shots.

At the same time, COVID-19 is surging in its facilities and places detainees in great danger.

Since the start of 2022, the number of COVID-19 cases among detainees has increased by 800%, and as of January 30, 2022, 14% of detainees were under isolation or monitoring for COVID-19.

The senators called on DHS and ICE to immediately provide COVID-19 boosters to all eligible detainees, ensure an adequate supply of vaccines, and provide information to detainees about the vaccine and boosters. They also asked them to provide a detailed plan for delivering booster shots and data about vaccination and booster shot rates among detainees. 

Joining Senators Warren and Markey were Senators Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), John Hickenlooper (D-Colo.) and Alex Padilla (D-Calif.).

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By editor

Susan Petroni is the former editor for SOURCE. She is the founder of the former news site, which as of May 1, 2023, is now a self-publishing community bulletin board. The website no longer has a journalist but a webmaster.