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Trump signs executive order to keep open meat packing plants

Several meat packing plants across the country have closed as a result of employees being infected by coronavirus

Published: April 28, 2020 4:02pm

Updated: April 29, 2020 8:29am

President Trump on Tuesday evening signed an executive order under the Defense Production Act to keep open meat processing plants and keep intact the national food supply chain.

The order makes such facilities part of the country's critical infrastructure.

The administration is also working with the Department of Labor on issuing guidance about which employees who work at these meat processing facilities should remain home, including workers who are part of populations most vulnerable to the coronavirus.

When Trump announced the executive order, he also told reporters that his administration was working with Tyson Foods.

The move follows the closure of several such plants across the country and a message from Tyson Foods this past weekend that the supply chain is "breaking," as a result of coronavirus infections at plants, after industry and government leaders closer to the start of the pandemic in the U.S. said such disruptions likely would not occur.

Trump said Tuesday that he will sign the order later today. The order purportedly will supply additional personal protection equipment to employees and potentially limit companies' liabilities so that they can reopen, amid calls from employee unions and local officials to keep the plants closed amid the pandemic

“We have had some difficulties that have been a liability to them,” Trump said at a White House press event.


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