Michael Powers, president of the New York State Correctional Officers and Police Benevolent Association, has confirmed the news on Harvey Weinstein's COVID-19 infection. (Photo Credit: File Photo)
Convicted rapist Harvey Weinstein was tested positive for coronavirus infection, latest US media reports said on Monday. The disgraced media mogul, who is in a New York jail, has been put under quarantine. Weinstein's PR firm or lawyers have not confirmed the development. There has been no official confirmation from the prison officials as of now. “Our team …has not heard anything like that yet,” Weinstein PR chief Juda Engelmayer was quoted as saying. However, Michael Powers, president of the New York State Correctional Officers and Police Benevolent Association, has confirmed the news on Weinstein's COVID-19 infection. According to a Reuters report, which quoted Powers, several other staff at the facility have also been quarantined. Weinstein, who has been accused of violating scores of women, was convicted last month of raping a once-aspiring actress in a New York City hotel room in 2013 and forcibly performing oral sex on former TV and film production assistant Mimi Haleyi at his apartment in 2006. (Coronavirus Outbreak LIVE Updates)
Weinstein was acquitted of first-degree rape and two counts of predatory sexual assault stemming from actress Annabella Sciorra's allegations of a mid-1990s rape. Weinstein maintains his innocence and contends that any sexual activity was consensual. Newly unsealed documents show the 67-year-old former film producer sought help from billionaires Jeff Bezos and Michael Bloomberg as sexual misconduct allegations against him piled up in October 2017, and that he considered issuing a statement at the time claiming that he was suicidal. There is no evidence to suggest either man responded. The New York case was the first criminal matter against Weinstein to arise from accusations of more than 90 women, including actresses Gwyneth Paltrow, Salma Hayek and Uma Thurman. Many of Weinstein's accusers say he used his Hollywood prestige to befriend them, dangling movie roles to gain their trust.
Meanwhile, New York City's mayor prepared Monday to order his city behind closed doors in an attempt to slow a pandemic that has swept across the globe and threatened to make the city of 8.5 million one of the world's biggest coronavirus hot spots. Officials worldwide warned of a critical shortage of medical supplies. Mayor Bill de Blasio also called for getting everything from masks to gowns, as well as doctors and other medical workers to New York City, and asked President Donald Trump to have the US military take over the logistics of making and distributing medical supplies. I can't be blunt enough. If the president doesn't act, people will die who could have lived otherwise, de Blasio told NBC's Meet The Press.
The top infectious disease expert in the U.S. promised New York City and the other hardest-hit places that critical supplies will not run out. The medical supplies are about to start pouring in and will be clearly directed to those hot spots that need it most, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said on CBS' Face The Nation. But Fauci and other emergency officials did not give hard figures on the number of masks or anything else on their way. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo urged federal officials to step in quickly as hard-hit states outbid each other for ever scarcer supplies, sometimes doubling or tripling prices.
(With agency inputs)