Deaths At SCI Phoenix (4:11) Dennis Solo McKeithan

4/28/20

My name is Dennis Solo McKeithan. I just found out - and I thought it was just the one or two guys that had passed, but it's been six. My buddy Sherman from down North Philadelphia, he died; Ears from South Philadelphia, he died; the guys just told me it was three more guys on their side of the jail that died. And, uh, we was told it was only one guy.

I don't know, uh, what's going on because they won't even tell you how many staff had that stuff. So you can't really track it and know who had contact with who. That's the biggest problem is that this secrecy is making things more unsafe because transparency, people could realize that, oh, I had contact with that guy myself and then they could [00:01:00] go ahead and get some, you know, testing or treatment or whatever, you know. 

Just taking the temperature won't be enough because the guy that died in Delaware, federal joint, he kept passing negative on the fever. He was cool. And then he had respiratory problems and stuff and died just like that. Why is there secrecy? And why isn't there transparency on the amount of people that actually have been tested to be positive amongst staff and prisoners? And that's something that needs to be addressed to the DOC and to, uh, Governor Wolf: that the only way to track this thing in here is to find out exactly who and how many people have actually passed [00:02:00] away and have actually came up positive for this virus, you know? 

And, uh, so I'm going to tell you: I'm scared to death. You know, you know, as soon as I get a little discomfort in my chest and my lung area. I don't know what we can do other than have our folks make phone calls and emails to the people in charge. Nobody from the DOC haven't even been down in the joint to visit, to see what's going on. That's another thing that gets me is that this virus is so scary that people that should be checking on things don't want to go nowhere near it, you know. So they whole thing is uh, they doing the distance thing by not even coming nowhere near the prison at all to investigate or to see what's going on. Well, Ears [00:03:00] was a brother from South Philadelphia. I've been knowing about 30 years. Uh, I forget his real name, but we call him Ears.

He was on either F or D block. I used to see him every day down in the gym. We used to bust it up. We used to talk every day. And, uh, Sherman - he's from, uh, North Philadelphia. He worked in the staff. He worked in the staff dining room. And, uh, the guy, I didn't know the guy [unintelligible], other guys who know him I didn't know him . And, um, the other three, I don't know their names yet. Now that our block is off of the excessive quarantine, we come out 40 minutes every day now. So we have a little more access for information. But when we was totally locked down, we didn't know what was going on. So, you know, they kept us totally locked down for like 16 [00:04:00] days.