Let Me Out! I Got COVID in Here!

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Now that he’s contracted COVID-19 while sitting in jail, one member of the Proud Boys wants out, and his lawyer is urging a federal appeals to release him from pre-trial detention. Christopher Worrell has been charged with pepper-spraying a line of police at the Capitol building during the Jan. 6 riots. But according to his lawyer Allen Orenberg, Worrell is being treated for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and is dealing with a compromised immune system, which makes him extremely vulnerable to COVID.

Politico reports Worrell previously sought assistance from U.S. District Court where he discussed the symptoms he was dealing with as a result of his lymphoma and noted he wasn’t able to access his cancer medication in the D.C. prison.

‘Given the pandemic and acute danger to Mr. Worrell, his continued amounts to impermissible pretrial punishment,” Orenberg wrote. “The Government’s interest in securing his appearance at trial does not outweigh liberty interest in remaining alive and free from harm.”

There is a part of me that would like to have some sympathy for Worrell but I have to remember he’s a member of the Proud Boys, who have been designated by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a hate group. But the people that stormed the Capitol are despicable people, period, and perhaps Worrell should have given more thought to this before creating the harm he likely did.

Orenberg announced Worrell was dealing with COVID after his client appealed a decision made by Judge Beryl Howell, chief of the Federal District Court in Washington, to reject Worrell’s bid for release in March.

Howell also disputed Worrell’s claims that he was unable to access his cancer medication while incarcerated, instead attributing it to his doctor’s actions. But that’s not all. She also noted when he joined the Capitol mob he didn’t wear a mask and didn’t display any concern for his health. But health concerns aside, Howell added that his alleged chemical spray attack on police, coupled with his conduct aside from that on Jan. 6 justifies his continued detention. These aren’t the only reasons why Howell ruled to keep him in detention. She also decided this due to an alleged threat Worrell made to a witness while FBI agents were taking him into custody.

Worrell is not the only Capitol riot detainee to be diagnosed with COVID. Bruno Cua, 18, from Georgia, was diagnosed with it last month before being released from pre-trial detention. Concerns have been raised about the potential risk of COVID in jail as an argument for pre-trial release, but judges have largely shut this down, noting the D.C. jail has protocols in place for dealing with COVID, and so far the number of cases reported there have been limited.

But it’s important to remember these people were all part of an unruly, dangerous mob will to do great harm. Several people are no longer alive because of the actions of the insurgents. I have no sympathy for any of them and if Worrell and others were concerned about how their health would fare in prison perhaps they should have given this a bit of thought. It’s what they get for trying to destroy democracy.

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