Rachel Maddow showed how Trump is potentially killing thousands of meat plant workers by refusing to enforce federal virus safety guidelines.
We got a hold of this. It’s the enforcement memo that goes along with the president’s late-night executive order from last night which banned any state from shutting down a meat plant. This was the Trump administration ordering the meat plants opened thing. It is really him blocking the states from shutting them down. Since we referred the enforcement memo how they are actually going to do this and the enforcement memo says yes, there are niece existing, good, CDC-derived federal guidelines how meat plants can operate without infecting all of their employees, there are guidelines, there’s ways to do it, but the enforcement memo for the president’s executive order explicitly says, the Trump administration will not actually make any plant follow these guidelines.
Quote, no part of the joint meat processing guidance should be construed to indicate that state and local authorities may direct a meat and poultry processing facility to close, to remain closed or operate in accordance with procedures. Osha will take into effect good faith attempts, attempts, to follow the joint meat processing guidance. Just do your best, you guys. I mean really, it’s whatever you think is best. Make a good-faith effort. That’s all we’re looking for here. Give it the old college try.
When the H1N1 virus was rearing its head in 2009 the administration decided that the guidelines for preventing the transmission of that virus, the guidelines worked out by the CDC and OSHA the government decided, the Obama administration decided in 2009 that those guidelines were binding. You can do that through the Department of Labor. Establish an emergency temporary standard. And you require, in that case, places like nursing homes and hospitals, to follow those guidelines, to prevent infection. Because that made sense to do. You don’t say these are the guidelines but nobody has to follow them. That will ensure that nobody follows them. I
Instead, you create the guidelines and make them mandatory. That’s what they did with H1N1 in the Obama administration. It takes a signature. There’s no reason why the Trump administration could not do exactly the same thing with the guidance they have already drawn up for these meat plants that have infected thousands of blue collar workers in this country, and that has started to swamp the hospitals and working class and middle class and rural communities all through the ag belt already. They literally could just do it. And likely save hundreds, thousands, arguably tens of thousands of lives. They could do it with a stroke of a pen. Why aren’t they doing it?
Maddow shows that Trump is killing potentially thousands of blue-collar meat plant workers by refusing to enforce federal virus guidelines and rules. pic.twitter.com/fjZh5UaUoH
— Sarah Reese Jones (@PoliticusSarah) April 30, 2020
The answer to why the guidance isn’t being enforced is that Trump doesn’t care about meat plant processing workers. This is a president who announced that he is planning rallies with no social distancing. He wants the meat plants open because he is afraid that he will be blamed for a meat shortage.
Trump is selling the myth that the coronavirus is going away, and he is going to stick to that story even if it kills tens of thousands of blue-collar workers.
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Jason is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association