Workplace Coronavirus Outbreaks Not Limited To Meat Plants
Rachel Maddow looks at how the coronavirus is turning up in a variety of workplaces where workers are in close proximity to each other, not just at meat processing plants, but also in shipping, manufacturing and farming, among others. Aired on 05/22/2020.
The president is invoking the Defense Production Act this week to keep meat processing plants across the country open, despite the fact that a number of these plants have been major virus hotspots. Pulitzer Prize winning editor of the Storm Lake Times, Art Cullen, joins Stephanie Ruhle to explain how Iowans feel about this. Aired on 4/30/2020. The president signed an executive order designed to keep plants open even as a top industry executive and union leaders issued dire warnings about the supply chain amid coronavirus. Two of the nation's biggest pork processing plants are currently closed due to coronavirus outbreaks. The government does not expect to make changes to coronavirus lockdown restrictions this week, Dominic Raab has said.
The foreign secretary said the UK's plan "is working" but that "we are still not passed the peak of this virus".
"Keep this up, we have come too far, lost too many loved ones and sacrificed too much to ease up," he said.
It came as the government said it might change its advice on using face masks.
Will face masks become the new norm?
The UK's chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance told the daily Downing Street news conference an ongoing review was considering evidence on the impact of changing the guidance on whether people should wear face masks while outside.
Asked by the BBC's David Shukman whether the government could change its advice, Sir Patrick said the government had already seen "more persuasive" data suggesting masks can stop a person passing the virus to someone else, rather than preventing them from catching it.
EVEN AS HUNDREDS, THOUSANDS, OF MEAT PROCESSING WORKERS IN THE STATE HAVE BEEN INFECTED ON THE JOB. AND SO WE’VE BEEN COVERING THIS FOR A WHILE, RIGHT? IT’S CLEAR THAT THE PROBLEM IN MEAT PROCESSING PLANTS ISN’T GOING AWAY. THE PRESIDENT ORDERING THEM ALL TO BE OPEN, DIDN’T TURN OUT TO BE A PANACEA FOR KEEPING PEOPLE FROM GETTING INFECTED THERE. BUT BEYOND THE SITUATION IN MEAT PROCESSING PLANTS, WE ARE NOW SEEING MORE AND MORE ALL OVER THE COUNTRY THAT OTHER CONGREGATE WORK ENVIRONMENTS, OTHER PLACES WHERE PEOPLE WORK, TOGETHER, FOR HOURS ON END, PARTICULARLY IN MANUFACTURING, OR PROCESSING PLANTS, THOSE PLACES ARE ALSO NOW STARTING TO SEE LARGE OUTBREAKS. IN WORKPLACES OF ALL DIFFERENT KINDS. THIS SEEMS TO BE LIKE THE NEXT PHASE. YOU LOOK AT LOCAL NEWS AROUND THE COUNTRY AND YOU SEE THESE REPORTS EVERYWHERE. YOU START TO AGGREGATE THEM AND YOU REALIZE THIS IS MORE THAN JUST A BLIP HERE AND THERE, THIS APPEARS TO BE SORT OF THE NEXT WAVE OF THE WAY PEOPLE ARE GETTING, THE WAY AMERICANS ARE GETTING INFECTED, WHEN THEY GO TO WORK. WITH MORE AND MORE STATES OPENING UP WORKPLACES, THIS IS WHAT WE ARE STARTING TO SEE. MORE AND MORE. TODAY, THE DENVER DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH ORDERED THE CLOSURE OF A U.S. POSTAL SERVICE FACILITY, AND IT’S NOT JUST ANY POSTAL SERVICE FACILITY, IT’S NOT LIKE A LOCAL POST OFFICE, THIS IS A SORTING FACILITY THAT HANDLES ALL OF THE MAIL FOR THE ENTIRE STATE OF COLORADO AND THE ENTIRE STATE OF WYOMING. THE DENVER PUBLIC HEALTH DEPARTMENT ORDERED THAT FACILITY SHUT DOWN, AFTER WORKERS AT THAT FACILITY TESTED POSITIVE FOR CORONAVIRUS AND INSPECTORS COULDN’T GET IN TO SEE WHAT WORKING CONDITIONS WERE LIKE. THAT USPS SHUTDOWN IN COLORADO, I WOULD COULD HAVE VERY LARGE CONSEQUENCES, THAT COMES ONE DAY AFTER WE LEARNED ABOUT AN OUTBREAK AT A U.P.S. FACILITY IN TUCSON, ARIZONA. UNION OFFICIALS SAY AT LEAST 36 WORKERS AT THAT U.P.S. FACILITY HAVE TESTED POSITIVE AND THREE OF THEM ARE SICK ENOUGH TO HAVE BEEN ADMITTED TO INTENSIVE CARE UNITS. THERE HAVE BEEN LOTS OF CASES AT AMAZON WAREHOUSE FACILITIES ACROSS THE COUNTRY. ALREADY EIGHT EMPLOYEES ALL WORKING IN DIFFERENT AMAZON WAREHOUSES ACROSS THE COUNTRY HAVE DIED FROM CORONAVIRUS. IN GEORGIA, WE’VE BEEN KEEPING OUR EYES ON A MAJOR OUTBREAK ON A NUCLEAR POWER PLANT OF ALL PLACES. MORE THAN 230 WORKERS HAVE BEEN INFECTED IN A NUCLEAR POWER PLANT. OFFICIALS IN NORTH DAKOTA HAVE BEEN GRAPPLING WITH A SURGE IN CASES AT A WIND TURBINE PLANT. NOTHING ABOUT WIND TURBINES SPECIFICALLY THAT PUT YOU MORE AT RISK FOR GETTING THE VIRUS BUT IF YOU WORK IN A MANUFACTURING ENVIRONMENT THAT’S ELBOW TO ELBOW, WHERE YOU’RE CLOSELY CONFINED WITH YOUR OTHER WORKERS DAY AFTER DAY, IT IS JUST AS GOOD AS ANYWHERE, MORE THAN 140 EMPLOYEES AT THE WIND TUBBINE PLANT HAVE ALREADY BEEN AFFECTED. A BEAUTY SUPPLY FACTORY OUTSIDE CHICAGO WAS RECENTLY FORCED TO SHUT DOWN AFTER ONE OF ITS WORKERS DIED FROM CORONAVIRUS. MORE THAN 100 CASES REPORTED AT A RHODE ISLAND FACILITY THAT PACKAGES SALADS. HALFWAY ACROSS THE COUNTRY IN COLORADO, THERE WAS A CHEESE PROCESSING PLANT THAT WAS FORCED TO SHUT DOWN AFTER A LARGE OUTBREAK THERE. YOU’RE SEEING THIS IN STATE AFTER STATE. IN ALL DIFFERENT KINDS OF PROCESSING AND MANUFACTURING FACILITIES. ANY PLACE WHERE PEOPLE ARE WORKING IN CONGREGATE. A MUSHROOM PLANT IN TENNESSEE. A CRAWFISH FARM IN LOUISIANA. ANY OF A DOZEN OR SO SEASONAL FARMS ACROSS SOUTHERN NEW JERSEY. AND IT IS REACHING A BOILING POINT FOR AMERICANS WHO WORK IN THESE ENVIRONMENTS. FOR THE PAST FEW WEEKS, HUNDREDS OF FRUIT PACKING WORKERS IN YAKIMA VALLEY, WASHINGTON, HAVE GONE ON STRIKE, DEMANDING HIGHER WAGES, BUT ALSO SAFER WORK CONDITIONS, IN TERMS OF EXPOSURE TO THE VIRUS. MORE THAN 350 AGRICULTURE WORKERS IN THAT AREA HAVE ALREADY BECOME INFECTED WITH THE VIRUS. YAKIMA COUNTY, WASHINGTON. AND WE’RE SEEING STORIES LIKE THIS ALL ACROSS THE COUNTRY, DAY AFTER DAY AFTER DAY. WE’RE STARTING TO REALIZE AS A COUNTRY THERE IS A PROBLEM IN MEAT PROCESSING PLANTS BUT NOW WITH THE COUNTRY BEGINNING TO REOPEN, WORKPLACES BEGINNING TO REOPEN, WE’VE GOT GET OUR HEADS AROUND THE FACT THAT WE’RE SEEING OUTBREAKS IN ALL SORTS OF FACILITIES WHERE WORKERS WORK,