MSNBC

MSNBC 22 May 2020

Workplace Coronavirus Outbreaks Not Limited To Meat Plants

Description:

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.

… show captions ↓
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,

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