Joe Biden calls on more safety for meat packing workers

Joe Biden calls on more safety for meat packing workers



Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden says President Trump is ‘totally irresponsible’ for using hydroxychloroquine when multiple studies have shown it to be ineffective against COVID-19. (May 20)

AP Domestic

WASHINGTON – Former Vice President Joe Biden called for increased safety protocols for people work in the meatpacking industry, even if it means meat prices will increase, as workers continue to be impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. 

During an interview with Yahoo News Tuesday, Biden was asked whether he thought it was an acceptable burden for Americans if meat prices increased to pay for improved worker safety.

“Absolutely positively, no worker’s life is worth my getting a cheaper hamburger. No worker’s life is worth that,” Biden said during the interview, which was a town hall focused on food insecurity.

“We don’t treat the workers well at all across the board,” Biden said. “We have obligations to workers, we have obligations to the community. Yes, yes, yes.”

More: Joe Biden vowed to pick a woman VP. Some Democrats say she must be a woman of color

Biden, who is the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, said people who work in meat plants, whether it’s beef, pork or poultry, “are getting sicker” as production increases.

“People are getting hurt,” he said. “The very thing we should be doing now is making sure these people are protected. That they have space 6 feet apart, that they have shields around them, slow the process up. Make sure they have the protective gear, make sure they are being taken care of.”


Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden says President Donald Trump’s pattern is ‘diversion, diversion, diversion.’ Biden rejected Trump’s claims that Barack Obama committed unspecified crimes as president. (May 20)

AP Domestic

Over the past several weeks, there’s been a wave of coronavirus cases and deaths among employees in the meatpacking industry. Despite safety concerns, President Donald Trump has ordered beef, pork and poultry processing plants to remain open, citing his authority under the Defense Production Act.

More: New polls show Biden leading Trump in key states of Arizona, Florida and Virginia

In the same interview, Biden criticized Trump for taking hydroxychloroquine, an anti-malaria drug, as a prophylactic to prevent contracting coronavirus. Trump announced Monday that he has been taking the drug for nearly two weeks. 

The Food and Drug Administration has cautioned against using hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine, a related drug, for COVID-19 treatment outside of hospitals or clinical trials due to the risk of heart rhythm problems. The administration on Monday released a note from Trump’s doctor confirming his support of the treatment.

“Look, this is absolutely irresponsible,” Biden said. “There’s no serious medical personnel out there saying to use that drug, it’s counterproductive, it’s not going to help.”

“It’s like saying maybe if you injected Clorox into your blood, maybe it’ll cure you,” he said. “What is he doing? What in God’s name is he doing?”

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