A new Donald Trump “scandal” dropped on Friday, and it may be the most asinine yet.
I don’t say that lightly. If this doesn’t top the list, it’s at least in the top five. And don’t get me wrong, there have been a lot of really dumb accusations made against Trump, but the level of purposeful obfuscation of context in this latest example is something to behold.
The setup is a report from the House’s select subcommittee dealing with the coronavirus crisis. According to the Associated Press, Democrats have decided that the former president is a really bad orange man for…pushing to keep meat processing facilities open during the pandemic.
According to a new congressional report, the meat industry cooperated with Trump’s appointees during the worst of the pandemic. This was in an effort to prevent restrictions from being imposed and preserve slaughterhouses even as COVID-19 spread quickly. https://t.co/LEUqYDjJF8
— The Associated Press (@AP) May 12, 2022
According to Thursday’s congressional report, during the initial year of the COVID-19 epidemic, meat processors worked closely with Trump Administration appointees to keep health restrictions in place and to maintain slaughterhouses open, even though the virus was rapidly spreading among workers.
The report by the House’s Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis said meat companies pushed to keep their plants open even though they knew workers were at high risk of catching the coronavirus. The industry’s health and labor officials were forced to change their recommendations. This culminated in President Donald Trump declaring that meat plants must be kept open by an executive order in spring 2020.
Now, I’m no scientist, so far be it from me to step out of line here, but I’m pretty sure that if human beings don’t eat, they die. That’s especially true when talking about foods that provide protein. It’s called starving, and you’d think it’s something Democrats in the Congress would be familiar with given they are currently presiding over an unprecedented baby formula shortage.
Yet, instead of acknowledging that keeping those meat processing plants open was a vital aspect of keeping the country from fully collapsing during 2020, Rep. Jim Clyburn and others are calling it “shameful” that they stayed open.
“The shameful conduct of corporate executives pursuing profit at any cost during a crisis and government officials eager to do their bidding regardless of resulting harm to the public must never be repeated,” Clyburn said.
It’s hard to imagine living in a bubble that thick. I’m sure the Washington elites would have been the last people to go hungry, but the rest of the nation would not have been so lucky, had the supply chain for meat imploded in the middle of having everyone locked in their homes. The idea that these companies were “pursuing profit” by not just shutting down completely ignores that fact.
The Associated Press also does. The Associated Press does not admit to a compromise between the risk of infection and maintaining food for American citizens. These companies did push back against the health authorities. But that was normal. It was positive that Trump’s administration chose to partner with them, rather than oppose them. This is an important decision for a country who couldn’t have afforded another crises at the time. This would have meant that there was no meat.
Also, if those meat processing plants had been closed and their supply severely cut off, the same Democrats would be shaming Trump for not being able to provide enough food. It didn’t matter what he did, they would attack him.
COVID-19 was fatally infected at some plants. But the risk of infection was high everywhere, and there’s no doubt keeping food in the mouths of Americans was a critical priority despite the risks. Trump committed absolutely no wrongdoing in this instance.