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Tue May 12, 2020, 03:59 PM

After Trump executive order, COVID-19 cases soar 40% in counties with meat processing plants

https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2020/5/12/1944596/-After-Trump-executive-order-COVID-19-cases-soar-40-in-counties-with-meat-processing-plants

After Trump executive order, COVID-19 cases soar 40% in counties with meat processing plants
Hunter
Daily Kos Staff
Tuesday May 12, 2020 ∑ 3:44 PM EDT
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In the wake of Donald Trump's executive order demanding the reopening of the nation's meat processing plants, a new Bloomberg News analysis shows that the COVID-19 pandemic is now spreading at "more than twice the national rate" in counties with major plants.

COVID-19 infections rose 19% in the week after Trump's April 28 order. In counties with large-scale meat processors, cases rose 40%. Itís not clear yet, however, just how much we can glean from that data.

Upon examination, it's not clear the soaring infections can be directly tied to Trump's order yet. The incubation period for the virus is thought to last up to 14 days, so infections caused by reopening closed plants would only just begin to be seen after a week, and can be more properly measured a week from now.

Bloomberg also cites a rebutting spokesperson from the Meat Institute (cough) who claims the soaring cases are due to the industry's "diligent" testing efforts, which is a good argument if you ignore every uncomfortable question about how the meat industry became a nationwide infection hotspot to begin with.

The truth is likely to be a combination of all of the above. After the deaths of 30 employees and infection of hundreds at individual plants, the industry is indeed eager to test its own workers rather than remain shuttered. It may not be just that cases in rural meat processing-reliant counties have jumped 40% in the last week: it may be that cases in entire regions have soared to higher numbers than we think, but that forced-back-to-work meat processors are the only ones being tested regardless of symptoms.

snip//

Instead, the Trump-to-Tyson action is a large-scale human experiment. Trump ordering workers back to work even though the industry remains an indisputable virus hotspot is an estimation that the products and profits produced by the reopenings will produce more value than will be offset by assuredly increased COVID-19 deaths in surrounding communities. While the workers themselves remain unconvinced, the White House, Republican campaign strategists, and plant owners seem confident the math will work out right.

The initial figures suggest that it's going to go very wrong. They only way to argue it is not going very wrong is to make the case that the industry itself is making: It's not that COVID-19 cases are absolutely skyrocketing in meat processing-reliant countiesóit's that COVID-19 cases are absolutely skyrocketing everywhere in those rural states. We just don't know it yet because the meat processing plants are the only ones forced into testing for it

That's not better. That's not at all better.


In a few more weeks there may be a fairly definitive answer as to who is right. If deaths, rather than confirmed infections, soar evenly across each state, then the Meat Institute is right: pandemic infections have been evenly spreading everywhere, but were identified mostly just in the handful of places where we were looking. If deaths remain clustered in the counties surrounding meat processors, then the industryís many critics are right, and the reopening of already-hit plants is the disproportionate cause of those new deaths.

Trump, his team, and Republican governors are all insisting on a third possibility: Actually, maybe the virus is no longer dangerous and deaths will be minimal everywhere because shut up, thatís why. Of all of the possibilities, that is the one with the least evidence behind it, but now that conservatism has dived so deeply into the realms of fantasy and conspiracy, it canít really counted as a surprise that they are banking on the Magic Unicorn theory.

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Reply After Trump executive order, COVID-19 cases soar 40% in counties with meat processing plants (Original post)
babylonsister May 2020 OP
keithbvadu2 May 2020 #1
Igel May 2020 #2
Ms. Toad May 2020 #3

Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Tue May 12, 2020, 04:13 PM

1. Take the meat packers to the reopened businesses.

Take the meat packers to the reopened businesses.

Especially the businesses that discourage masks and self-isolation.

To conservatives, they are not regular people.

Wisconsin Supreme Court justice: Meatpackers aren't 'regular folks'

https://www.democraticunderground.com/10142489043

Conservative Justice.

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Tue May 12, 2020, 04:27 PM

2. First thing they'd have to do is tie the reopening to the order.

Most people read not the order, but the commentary and claims written by people who don't like Trump.

It's like asking a spouse getting a divorce what the other half of the marriage did and said instead watching the video.

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Tue May 12, 2020, 04:33 PM

3. Those people were already infected, but had not yet tested positive.

COVID-19 infections rose 19% in the week after Trump's April 28 order. In counties with large-scale meat processors, cases rose 40%. Itís not clear yet, however, just how much we can glean from that data.


The incubation period is roughly 5-14 days. So new cases due to reopening would show up, at the earliest, in 5 days - most later. That means - AT MOST - 2 days of Trump - induced infections are included in that 40% increase. The vast majority were already infected.

(Even so, that increase suggests it is assinine to re-open the plants. But it is irresponsible for media to blame the case discrepancy on the order.)

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