Trump to order meat-processing plants to remain open

Tyson warns of coronavirus-related US meat shortages as livestock plants shutdown

Tyson Foods Chairman Warns Food Supply Chain Is Breaking

The order will label processing plants as "critical infrastructure".

The order is designed, in part, to protect companies from liability if workers end up getting sick.

Tyson's company blog, called "A Delicate Balance: Feeding the Nation and Keeping our Employees Healthy", coincided with full-page advertisements in The New York Times, The Washington Post and other outlets Sunday.

On April 20, Nafissa Cisse Egbuonye, health director of Black Hawk County, Iowa, said 90 percent of the then-356 cases in the county were tied to Waterloo plant workers.

"The food supply chain is breaking", he wrote. The Monmouth plant accounts for about 3 percent of America's fresh pork supplies and Sioux Falls supplies almost 130 million servings per week, according to the company.

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Berkley said it was critical that there was not a repeat of the experience in 2009, when the H1N1 vaccine did not reach developing countries until very late.


A senior administration official told Reuters news agency the USA government would also provide guidance to minimise risk to workers who are especially vulnerable to the virus, such as encouraging older workers and those with other chronic health issues to stay home.

Community leaders and unions continued Tuesday to express concerns about worker safety. Some farmers said it was too late because pigs had been euthanised already instead of the pork going to market. Asked about the country's food supply, Trump said: "There's plenty of supply".

The order will apply to all meat processing plants in the U.S.in an effort to prevent further disruptions to the food supply.

The company formed a coronavirus taskforce in January and added safety measures across the board, such as 150 infrared walkthrough temperature scanners, supplying face coverings, and conducting daily deep cleaning and sanitizing at processing plants.

The order will also include guidance to minimize risk to workers who are especially vulnerable to the virus, the official said.

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"What we're seeing is with consumer demand up nearly 50 percent on average the last six weeks and the cumulative impact of all the plant closures and shift reductions reducing production capacity by 30 to 40 percent, we will see more out of stocks at retail probably beginning next week", Duffy said. For the sake of all our families, we must prioritize the safety and security of these workers. By requiring processing plants to stay open, they're provided the liability protection they need to remain operational.

Twenty-two U.S. meatpacking plants across the American Midwest have closed during the outbreak. "If the administration had developed meaningful safety requirements early on as they should have and still must do, this would not even have become an issue", Stuart Appelbaum, president of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, said in a statement.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the order before its release. His predecessors have used it on numerous occasions, although it's rarely been invoked for anything having to do with the food supply chain.

At least 13 workers have died.

It was unclear what the liability protections might involve.

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But the measure also includes billions to expand coronavirus testing and help keep states and hospitals afloat amid the pandemic. Republicans complained Democrats had delayed the original version of bill, which included only money for small businesses.


Schumer said Tuesday: "Is he saying that if an owner tells a worker they have to work next to somebody who might have coronavirus without a mask or PPE, that that owner wouldn't be liable?"

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