ISCI is a cross-disciplinary research centre working to further our understanding of state crime: organisational deviance violating human rights

COVID-19 and the U.S. Health Care Industry: Towards a “Critical Health Criminology” within State Crime Studies


State Crime Journal Special Issue on the COVID-19 Pandemic and State Crime

Vol. 10, No. 1 (2021) – open access

David O. Friedrichs and Valeria Vegh Weis

On April 11, 2020, The Washington Post published a front-page article entitled “Amid chaos, anguished nurses say Pennsylvania hospital risked infecting cancer patients, babies and staff with covid-19” (Butler 2020). The article reported that “[s]ome nurses were going directly from treating covid patients to administering chemotherapy to cancer patients, who would be especially endangered by a covid-19 infection.” They were also moving between units with patients who had been diagnosed with this disease, or were being investigated for possible infection, and neonatal units. Asked by reporters, the nurses alleged that medical staff, as well as patients, were not provided with the necessary protective equipment and that preventive procedures were not in place. A statement issued on behalf of the hospital’s CEO took exception to these allegations, and representatives for the hospital claimed that the accusations were instigated by the health workers’ union “for its own purposes”…(read more)