Trump to order meat processing plants to stay open

Coronavirus

President Donald Trump is expected to sign a five-page executive order under the Defense Production Act to compel meat processing plants to remain open amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Trump had highlighted the order during an Oval Office meeting with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis that was opened up to reporters.

“We’re going to sign an executive order today, I believe, and that’ll solve any liability problems,” Trump said on Tuesday.

The President is expected to sign the order after some companies, such as Tyson Foods, were considering only keeping 20% of their facilities open. The vast majority of processing plants could have shut down — which would have reduced processing capacity in the country by as much as 80%, an official familiar with the order told.

By signing the order, Trump will declare these plants as a part of critical infrastructure in the US.

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 vulnerable to the coronavirus.

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