Trevor Reed, an American who has been detained in Russia for more than two years, says he is coughing up blood and has not received medical care after prolonged exposure to tuberculosis in Russian prison, according to the US Embassy in Moscow.
“In December #TrevorReed had prolonged exposure to another prisoner with active tuberculosis. Trevor now reports he is coughing up blood and has not received medical care for it. @mfa_russia give Trevor proper medical treatment; better yet, release him,” a US Embassy spokesperson wrote on Twitter.
The families of both Reed and Paul Whelan, another US citizen detained in Russia, have expressed concern for their well-being, particularly as tensions between Moscow and Washington rise.
A spokesperson for Reed’s family said his exposure to tuberculosis came late last year, adding that the former US Marine has not received adequate medical care.
“Trevor Reed was subjected to a lengthy, close-contact exposure to a prisoner who had active TB in December - that prisoner became gravely ill shortly after his encounter with Trevor. Despite beginning post-exposure prophylaxis for other inmates, Russian authorities have refused to do the same for Trevor and have thus far refused to test him,” said family spokesperson Jonathan Franks.
“Trevor continues to complain about pain in his chest (related to breathing, not his heart) and authorities continue to refuse him any medical treatment whatsoever. Any suggestion by Russian authorities that they have provided Trevor meaningful medical care is patently false,” Franks said.
A State Department spokesperson expressed concern about reports that Reed “had prolonged exposure to another prisoner with active tuberculosis and find the lack of medical attention and care troubling.” The spokesperson added that the US urges the Russian government provide Reed proper medical treatment.
CNN has reached out to the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Russian Federal Penitentiary Service (FSIN) for comment.
The last time US officials visited with Reed, who was sentenced to nine years in prison in July 2020, was late last year. He has not been able to call home for more than 200 days.
Whelan, another former Marine who is at a different penal colony far outside Moscow, told CNN last year that “getting medical care here is very difficult.”
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has repeatedly called for the release of the detained Americans during discussions with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.
“We need to talk about two US citizens, Paul Whelan and Trevor Reed, who were tourists in Russia, were arrested, convicted without credible evidence, and we again ask Russia to do the right thing and let them come home,” Blinken said in remarks before his latest in-person meeting with Lavrov in January.
In an interview with CNN’s State of the Union on Sunday, US national security adviser Jake Sullivan said that “the Russians have been willing to engage in various channels to discuss a way” to get Whelan and Reed home.
“And we are actively engaged in an effort to do that. And I’m not going to share more here because of the obvious sensitivity of it. But we would like to get Paul and Trevor home as soon as possible,” he said.