Agriculture Sec: Trump’s Order To Reopen Meat Plants Will Give Them “Defensible” Response If Workers Sue

Bloomberg News reports:

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said he expects meatpacking plants to reopen in “days not weeks” under President Donald Trump’s executive order invoking the Defense Production Act.

Slaughterhouse workers should begin receiving more protective gear and access to coronavirus testing “virtually immediately,” Perdue said Thursday in a telephone interview. The USDA has “already begun” working on orders to get them filled on a priority basis by vendors similar to health care workers, he said.

Trump’s executive order won’t remove legal liability from meat companies for coronavirus safety lawsuits but along with the CDC guidelines will give them “a defensible answer” should they be sued as long as they follow the guidance, Perdue said.