Reality Winner, the National Security Agency (NSA) whistleblower convicted of leaking details of a 2016 Russian cyberattack on U.S. voting software, has tested positive for coronavirus in a Texas federal prison, along with over 500 women. Almost 40% of the detainees at the Federal Medical Center (FMC) Carswell, in Ft. Worth, Texas, have tested positive for the virus. Winner, imprisoned for a non-violent crime, requested a temporary release from the facility in April, citing increased danger from COVID-19 in the cramped conditions of federal prison. Winner’s attorney argued that her sentence should be immediately commuted because of her history of respiratory illness and her compromised immune system. Her request, along with many others, was denied. Winner’s attorneys have since filed an appeal.
Winner’s mother, Billie Winner-Davis, reported on July 21 that her daughter had contracted the virus in prison. Winner-Davis commented that “Reality, like many other non-violent first offenders, doesn’t deserve this. This is torture. This could possibly even be a death sentence.” Since April, there have been three coronavirus deaths at the FMC, Carswell, all inmates.