Received this e-mail today from Mike Espy’s (D. MS) U.S. Senate campaign:
Across the country, and especially in my state of Mississippi, agricultural workers are the backbone of our economy. But unfortunately, they’re not always treated that way, especially now during this pandemic.
Last week, President Trump passed an executive order declaring meat processing plants as “critical infrastructure,” directing plants to stay open and workers to continue putting their health at risk.
Soon after the president took this action, the Center for Disease Control reported that at least 4,900 meat plant workers have tested positive for COVID-19, and those are just the cases we know about.
Now, meat processing workers are feeling scared and betrayed, while my far-right opponent, Cindy Hyde-Smith, claims, “We’re going to be fine.”
As a former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, I'll tell you: We won't be fine until we elect leaders in every state who will fight for workers and families. The U.S. must take the following steps now to keep agricultural workers and farmers safe:
- Administer daily COVID-19 tests to all meat and poultry workers
- Reconfigure processing plants to meet CDC guidelines
- Pay workers emergency paid sick leave
We won't be fine — and consumers won't be confident in the safety of our food supply — until meat and poultry processing workers who are essential have the protections they need to stay safe.
Thanks for standing by workers with me,