Joker star Joaquin Phoenix is releasing a call to action for New York Governor Andrew Cuomo in regards to the spreading of COVID-19 in prisons. As the virus has proved to be scarily contagious, Phoenix is calling for prisons to be emptied, at least emptier than they are right now, as a means to prevent the spread of the virus in such locations and prevent the inmates from contracting the disease, passing it to each other, and passing it to the staff at the prison as well. Phoenix released a video on the subject where he reveals his firm stance on the subject.
"The spread of coronavirus in prisons threatens the health and safety of all of us," Phoenix said. "When you're incarcerated, there's no such thing as social distancing and ensuring good hygiene is not an option. Leaders must do everything possible to prevent incarcerated people and those who work in prisons from becoming ill and spreading the virus. I'm calling on Governor Andrew Cuomo to take action by granting clemency to New Yorkers in prison. The lives of so many people depend on his action. No one deserves to die in prison of COVID-19."
Some states and countries have taken an action similar to what Phoenix is suggesting, releasing some prisoners which meet certain qualifications as a means to lessen the possibility of outbreaks within the prison. Phoenix does not state in his message what category or prisoner he is hoping to see released from New York jails.
Phoenix has developed a reputation for passionately standing by his beliefs and voicing messages to those in power, along with his fans and followers. The actor won the Academy Award for Best Actor and used his acceptance speech as a platform to spread awareness of animal cruelty. As a result, some other celebrities believed they were transformed into vegans with the actor.
“We’ve become very disconnected from the natural world,” Phoenix said in his speech late in 2019. “We feel entitled to artificially inseminate a cow and when she gives first we steal the baby and then we take her milk that’s intended for the calf and we put it in our coffee.” The speech spawned some strong reactions.1comments
It is unclear whether Governor Cuomo will respond to Phoenix's call for prisoners to be released.
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