Report: Trump to order meat plants to stay open during pandemic

National

FILE – In this April 22, 2020, file photo President Donald Trump speaks about the coronavirus in the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House in Washington. After two months of frantic response to the coronavirus pandemic, the White House is planning to shift President Trump’s public focus to the burgeoning efforts aimed at easing the economic devastation. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

WASHINGTON, D.C. (WTVO) — President Donald Trump plans to order meat plants to stay open under the Defense Production Act, saying they are part of the nation’s critical infrastructure, according to Bloomberg.

The report says the government will provide additional protective gear for employees.

“We’re going to sign an executive order today, I believe,” the president told reporters in the Oval Office on Tuesday, according to the Daily Mail. “We’ll be in very good shape. We’re working with Tyson, one of the big companies in that world. We always work with the farmers.”

The White House decision comes after estimates say as much as 80 percent of the U.S. meat production industry could shut down.

Tyson and Smithfield, two of the world’s largest meat producers, have shut down plants after a portion of their workforce has been diagnosed with coronavirus.

In Rochelle, a Hormel Foods plant had to suspend operations after two dozen workers tested positive for COVID-19. The plant was re-opened after it was disinfected and employees returning to work were screened for the virus.

Two million chickens at plants in Delaware and Maryland are likely to be euthanized because chicken processing plants are short-staffed.

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