Harvey Weinstein tests positive for coronavirus

Weinstein is currently in isolation at the state prison where he is serving his 23-year sentence, the head of the New York state corrections officers union said.
Image: Harvey Weinstein arrives at court in New York on Feb. 6, 2020.
Harvey Weinstein arrives in court in New York on Feb. 6, 2020.Jeenah Moon / Reuters

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By Ben Kesslen

Convicted rapist and disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein has tested positive for the coronavirus, the head of the New York state corrections officers union told NBC News.

Weinstein, 68, was transferred to Wende Correctional Facility, a maximum-security state prison east of Buffalo, on Wednesday after being sentenced to 23 years in prison on March 11. He was found guilty of third-degree rape and first degree criminal sexual act in a landmark #MeToo case.

At Wende, Weinstein tested positive for the coronavirus, Michael Powers, president of the New York State Correctional Officers and Police Benevolent Association, told NBC News on Monday morning. The news was first reported by The Niagara Gazette on Sunday.

Weinstein is currently in isolation at the prison, Powers said, and several staff at the facility have also been quarantined who were in contact with him.

Correctional officers are struggling to get access to personal protective equipment (PPE), a broad term for the gear, such as masks, glasses, gowns and respirators, Powers said. His members need it to do their jobs safely.

"PPE is vital for us in our facilities," Powers said. "While a lot of people were working from home, we are keeping our community safe."

A representative for Weinstein told NBC News on Sunday afternoon that they were not aware of Weinstein's test. A lawyer for Weinstein told Reuters on Sunday evening they had not been notified of the diagnosis.

Before being transferred to federal prison, Weinstein was being held in Rikers Island Jail, where there have been multiple cases of the coronavirus among those in custody and the correctional officers at the facility.

Weinstein also was went to Bellevue Hospital during his time in jail for heart problems, and has high blood pressure and diabetes — factors which would put him at greater risk of falling very ill from the coronavirus.

Doha Madani contributed.