Earlier this afternoon, President Trump stated that he would sign an executive order invoking the Defene Production Act that would compel meat processing plants to remain open. Currently, multiple processing plants have been closed after outbreaks of COVID-19 among the workforce.
"We're going to sign an executive order today, I believe, and that'll solve any liability problems," Trump said on Tuesday, according to CNN.
As meat plants, particulary those operated by large processors like Tyson, Smithfield and JBS, have closed, there have been fears of meat shortages at the retail level. At the same time, farmers are warning of an oversupply of live animals because of the closure of meat packing plants. Tyson Chairman John Tyson wrote an open letter yesterday warning that “The food supply chain is breaking.”
According to Bloomberg News, the federal government will provide testing materials and protective gear for employees. Descriptions of some plant conditions from union officials and anonymous workers allege that many of the plants that were COVID-19 hotspots did not provide workers with adequate protection from the spread of the Coronavirus.
Source: CNN, Bloomberg