The war on workers now includes biological weapons. Deliberately exposing enemy prisoners to COVID-19 would be a war crime. Deliberately exposing workers at meat processing plants is … a Donald Trump executive order.
While one group of Republicans cooked up fake protests as a means of papering over their overt cruelty to workers, and outright gifts to corporations, Trump hasn’t been that subtle. He’s ordered plants to stay open, and workers to get back on the job. Or else. It may seem like there would be some issue between Trump deliberately telling workers to lay down their lives for his ham salad and safety regulations. But the CDC has a solution for that: take all the rules and turn them into guidelines. Soft guidelines.
As Rachael Maddow reported on Tuesday evening, this isn’t the first time that the U.S. has faced an issue of disease in the workplace. In past situations, such as a problem just two years ago in which lettuce from several farms was contaminated by E. coli, or situations where water supplies were contaminated, both the FDA and CDC have stepped in to issue strict orders and provide detailed instructions on what needs to be done in order to address the issue.
Only this time … not so much. Now that Trump has made working in a stew of viral danger a job requirement, regulatory agencies can’t exactly close down the company for safety violations. The alternative? There are no safety violations. The FDA and CDC aren’t ordering companies to do anything. They’re suggesting.