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  #2483745 14-May-2020 13:10
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"What Was Trump Asked About?" The Game

The Daily Show


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  #2483834 14-May-2020 15:08
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Essential Hygiene





'Ask not what you can do for your country: ask what you can do for me'. Donald J.Trump. US President 2016 - 2020.

 

 

 

 


 
 
 
 


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  #2483883 14-May-2020 16:28
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MEATHEADS (DONNY'S GOTTA HAVE HIS HAMBERDERS...)

 

COVID-19 is spreading rapidly in meat processing plants across the country. 6500 meatpacking workers have been diagnosed with COVID-19 or placed into quarantine, and at least 20 have already died of the virus. Nearly two dozen meatpacking facilities have closed (some temporarily) after the coronavirus began spreading among employees. 

 

These workers' lives are at risk, and the current safety procedures are inadequate. Instead of requiring the meat processing industry to protect workers, Trump signed an executive order prohibiting the industry from closing their facilities. The order blames states for imposing safety requirements that were too stringent. The order describes meat processing as "critical infrastructure." It warns that the "closure of a single meat or poultry processing facility can severely disrupt the supply of protein to an entire grocery store chain." The order did not include any enforceable safety standards for workers.

 

Meat, of course, is not essential. If large quantities of meat do not reach a particular grocery store, it does not "disrupt the supply of protein" because there are plenty of other foods with protein. No one should get sick or die, so someone else can eat a hamburger. 

 

The order will impact "194,000 frontline meatpacking workers in the Animal Slaughtering and Processing Industry." Moving forward, the order will "prevent local health officials from ordering meat companies to use their the most effective weapon available to protect their employees from the coronavirus — closures."

 

Trump was responding to the demands of the meat processing industry. On Sunday, the Chairman of Tyson Foods, John Tyson, published an open letter in national newspapers arguing that "our plants must remain operational." Tyson Foods is the world's second-largest processor of chicken, beef, and pork, and is valued at $18 billion. "The food supply chain is breaking. We have a responsibility to feed our country. It is as essential as health care. This is a challenge that should not be ignored," Tyson wrote. 

 

Trump's order allows Tyson Foods to ignore state regulations and continue operating. But it goes beyond that. Trump said that, by invoking the Defense Production Act, he would solve the "liability" problem for Tyson Foods and other meat processors. 

 

On the surface, Trump is "ordering" these companies to keep their plants open. In reality, the executive order "was developed in consultation with industry leaders including Tyson and Smithfield." On Tuesday, Smithfield released a statement supporting the order, claiming it would "ensure the American people will not experience protein shortages." 

 

If all these meat processing facilities keep operating at full capacity, more workers will get sick. But, if the companies are sued for exposing workers to unsafe conditions, the companies can use Trump's executive order as a defense. The companies could argue that they had no choice but to keep operating, whether or not they could do so safely, because they were ordered to stay open by Trump. Experts believe that this argument would constitute a "solid" defense to any lawsuit. 

 

"Sending workers back to meat-processing plants without proper protection is tantamount to a death sentence," the Environmental Working Group, a research group, said. 

 

BIOLOGICAL CLASS WARFARE

 

The coronavirus response is a story about class. White-collar workers are being told to stay safe at home. This includes executives at Tyson Foods. As chairman, John Tyson's total compensation in 2019 was $10,322,100, and CEO Noel White was paid $10,398,160. 

 

Meanwhile, meatpacking workers are being required to show up at crowded job sites for mediocre pay, so no one has to change their eating habits. Nearly half of meatpacking workers live in low-income families — $52,000 or less for a family of four. 12.4% of meatpacking workers live below the poverty line. On average, workers are paid just $15 per hour. 

 

The industry is also disproportionately comprised of people of color. 34.9% of meatpackers are Hispanic, and 22.5% are black. More than half are immigrants. 

 

Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds (R) said that workers that don't return to meatpacking plants will not be eligible for unemployment benefits. "If you're an employer and you offer to bring your employee back to work and they decide not to, that's a voluntary quit," she said. 

 

EVEN IN THE BEST OF TIMES, MEATPACKING IS EXTREMELY DANGEROUS WORK

 

Before the pandemic hit, meatpacking in the United States was dangerous work with a high likelihood of debilitating injury. A 2019 study from Human Rights Watch described the conditions:

 

    *Despite advances in technology, this work still depends on the strength of human hands. Hundreds of thousands of women and men do the killing, cutting, deboning, and packaging of American-grown meat, most of whom spend their entire shift operating as components of a continually moving dissection machine, fulfilling one need in the complex process of disassembling animals.

 

    These workers have some of the highest rates of occupational injury and illness in the United States. They labor in environments full of potentially life-threatening dangers. Moving machine parts can cause traumatic injuries by crushing, amputating, burning, and slicing. The tools of the trade—knives, hooks, scissors, and saws, among others—can cut, stab, and infect. The cumulative trauma of repeating the same, forceful motions, tens of thousands of times each day can cause severe and disabling injuries.

 

    ...OSHA data show that a worker in the meat and poultry industry lost a body part or was sent to the hospital for in-patient treatment about every other day between 2015 and 2018.*

 

The report found that, despite these issues, the Trump administration was "weakening oversight of meat and poultry companies, which could further undermine workers’ right to safe and healthy working conditions in the process."

 

DURING THE PANDEMIC, THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION ISSUED WAIVERS TO MAKE THINGS WORSE

 

One of the primary issues with meatpacking facilities is that, by design, they don't allow for social distancing between workers. The Trump administration is again making things worse. 

 

For years, companies have "sought to maximize the volume of production and minimize the cost of labor by pushing production speeds faster." In April, "the federal government granted 15 poultry processors waivers to cut chickens faster, usually by crowding more workers onto their production lines."  Not surprisingly, the facilities that received waivers were "10 times more likely than the meatpacking industry as a whole to have coronavirus cases among workers."

 

In April, the FDA has issued more waivers allowing for increased speeds at poultry processing facilities "than it had in any previous month over the past eight years of the program’s existence." 

 

"I’m convinced that the USDA is probably just putting those out there because they think we’re all preoccupied with COVID and not paying attention to what they’re doing," a representative of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union, which represents meatpacking workers, said.

 

Tyson Foods "has 13 poultry plants with speed waivers, including its operation in Robards, Kentucky, where at least 62 employees have been infected."

 

Judd Legum April 30  

 

judd@popular.info





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  #2483920 14-May-2020 17:27
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The New York Times - Opinion - America’s True Covid Toll Already Exceeds 100,000

 

today

 


The reported numbers leave out thousands of deaths clearly resulting from the pandemic.

 

Many supporters of President Trump believe that the figures for coronavirus fatalities are inflated, and Trump himself shared a tweet doubting the accuracy of some virus figures.

 

He’s right that the death toll seems off - but not in the direction he would suggest. 

 

We’ve crunched the numbers, state by state, and it appears that somewhere around 100,000 to 110,000 Americans * have already died as a result of the pandemic, rather than the 83,000 whose deaths have been attributed to the disease, Covid-19. ...

 

 

* Based on calculations by Harvard statistician Rafael Irizarry.  These estimates include excess deaths calculated by comparing death rates this spring with those in previous years.

 





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  #2484047 14-May-2020 20:34
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'Ask not what you can do for your country: ask what you can do for me'. Donald J.Trump. US President 2016 - 2020.

 

 

 

 


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  #2484201 15-May-2020 08:50
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The Washington Post - 5 takeaways from coronavirus whistleblower Rick Bright’s testimony

 

today

 


A Trump administration vaccine expert, who says he was removed from a key role for raising concerns about the government’s response and its promotion of unproved drugs, testified Thursday before Congress. 

 

Lawmakers asked questions on a range of topics from the vaccine timeline to the Trump administration's handling of the outbreak.

 

Here are five takeaways from Rick Bright's testimony ...  [ headings only ]

 

1. ‘Lives were lost’ because of ‘inaction,' unheeded warnings

2. Administration pushed vastly expanded use of unproven drugs

3. Pessimism about 12- to 18-month timeline for vaccine

4. We don’t have ‘a single point of leadership’ or ‘master plan’

5. Republicans cast Bright as a malcontent skipping work

 



 





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  #2484211 15-May-2020 09:04
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And Fauci is probably on the way out, his scientific guidance is an Inconvenient truth


 
 
 
 


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  #2484308 15-May-2020 10:43
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tdgeek:

 

And Fauci is probably on the way out, his scientific guidance is an Inconvenient truth

 

I am very much surprised that he was not pushed (or resigned) just after the bleach debacle.





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  #2484311 15-May-2020 10:56
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FineWine:

 

tdgeek:

 

And Fauci is probably on the way out, his scientific guidance is an Inconvenient truth

 

I am very much surprised that he was not pushed (or resigned) just after the bleach debacle.

 

 

Yes, he has hung on longer than most. But I gather he is highly respected in the US, has awards etc


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  #2484334 15-May-2020 11:37
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Some White House hyenas are brighter than others, and have been holding Trump back. Eventually he will give in to his impulses.

 

 





I don't think there is ever a bad time to talk about how absurd war is, how old men make decisions and young people die. - George Clooney
 


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  #2484355 15-May-2020 12:09
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To Trumpers everywhere:

 





 

 

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  #2484395 15-May-2020 12:44
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and ...

 





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  #2484403 15-May-2020 12:53
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I suppose Trump is going to tell people to start injecting mouthwash now.

 

 

 

 





I don't think there is ever a bad time to talk about how absurd war is, how old men make decisions and young people die. - George Clooney
 


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  #2484463 15-May-2020 14:24
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Rikkitic:

 

I suppose Trump is going to tell people to start injecting mouthwash now.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Good to know. I'll keep drinking my home made gin!!!!


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  #2484506 15-May-2020 15:46
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There was a plan. There are also liars in the administration.

 





 

 

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