Internal email details ‘desperate need’ for sanitizer at federal pen

An internal email obtained by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reveals the Atlanta federal penitentiary was scrambling to find hand sanitizer more than a week after the coronavirus brought much of the nation to a standstill.

“I am hoping you may be able to help us as we are in

desperate need,” reads the email, sent by Sharea Moore, assistant health services administrator in the Atlanta office of the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

Explore>> AJC comprehensive coverage of the global pandemic

It’s unclear who received the request, dated March 21. Moore wrote that she had previously reached out to Old Fourth Distillery, a local whiskey maker who had just begun distributing bottles of hand sanitizer.

But, according to the email, the distillery was already filling a “very large order” for the Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency (GEMA).

RELATED: 'No extra soap': Georgia inmates say prisons not ready for COVID-19

The Bureau of Prisons has not responded to a request for comment so it’s unknown whether Moore was successful in her search for sanitizer, which health experts say is crucial in helping curb the spread of the virus.

Three days before the email was sent, an inmate at the Atlanta Prison Camp told the AJC the commissary was out of sanitizer.

Other prisoners have reached out to the paper complaining of conditions inside the federal pen.

As of Thursday afternoon, five inmates and three staff members had tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. A total of 114 federal prisoners  and staff members have been infected nationwide.