• Joe “Exotic” Maldonado-Passage was placed in COVID-19 isolation in prison this week
  • Contrary to some reports, Maldonado was placed in isolation due to prison protocol, not because he is infected or showing symptoms
  • Maldonado-Passage has become a viral sensation on social media following the release of Netflix’s “Tiger King”

Joe “Exotic” Maldonado-Passage – the star of Netflix’s new hit true-crime docuseries “Tiger King,” who is currently serving time in prison for a murder-for-hire plot among other charges – has been placed in COVID-19 isolation.

Dillon Passage, Maldonado-Passage’s husband, told Andy Cohen that his husband had been placed in isolation at his current facility after cases of the virus were reported at the previous jail he was serving time in. Exotic was recently moved from Grady County Jail in Oklahoma to FMC Fort Worth prison. According to a few reports, Joe Exotic was allegedly hospitalized after contracting COVID-19 in prison but it seems he is just in isolation per Bureau of Prisons (BOP) protocols.

Passage does not believe Joe has coronavirus but that he has been placed in a 14-day isolation to ensure he does not have symptoms before joining other inmates. “From what I know he does not have coronavirus, but it was in Grady County Jail where he was before he got moved to this medical facility and they said it was a possibility that he would be put on a 14-day quarantine,” said Passage.

On March 26, the director of (BOP) ordered the implementation of Phase 4 of its COVID-19 Action Plan. The agency updated isolation and quarantine protocol to require all newly admitted inmates and inmates transferred to a new facility be assessed using a screening tool and temperature check. Asymptomatic inmates are placed in quarantine for a minimum of 14 days or until cleared by medical staff. Symptomatic inmates are placed in isolation until they test negative for COVID-19.

Maldonado-Passage was sentenced to 22 years in federal prison after being found guilty on 17 federal charges of animal abuse and two counts of murder for hire after he tried to solicit an undercover FBI agent posing as a hitman to kill Carole Baskin, an animal rights activist who also serves as CEO of the Florida-based wildlife sanctuary Big Cat Rescue.

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