President Donald Trump on Tuesday ordered beef, pork and poultry processing plants to remain open during the coronavirus pandemic.
Citing his authority under the Defense Production Act the executive order classifies meat processing as critical infrastructure to try to prevent a shortage of chicken, pork and other meat on supermarket shelves.
Trump declared in an executive order that “it is important that processors of beef, pork, and poultry (‘meat and poultry’) in the food supply chain continue operating and fulfilling orders to ensure a continued supply of protein for Americans.”
More than 20 meatpacking plants have closed temporarily under pressure from local authorities and their own workers because of the virus, including two of the nation’s largest, one in Iowa and one in South Dakota. Others have slowed production as workers have fallen ill or stayed home to avoid getting sick.