When President Donald Trump signed an executive order April 28 to declare meatpacking plants critical infrastructure, he tapped the secretary of agriculture to keep the plants open amid a wave of coronavirus outbreaks.
The move signaled that the nation’s priorities focused more on the continued production of meat than the safety of workers.
Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue and the U.S. Department of Agriculture have nothing to do with worker protections. Their mission, as Perdue noted May 5 in a letter to meatpacking companies, “is to inspect meat and poultry products to ensure that they are wholesome and safe.”
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