Coronavirus, United States update

This 14 April 2020 video from the USA says about itself:

Anti-Asian racism is sweeping across America as COVID-19 spreads.

In US news and current events today, as the coronavirus outbreak continues to pose challenges for the U.S. and world at large, America is also facing a rise in hate crimes against Asian Americans.

“We are human, and they cannot abuse us in this way”. Meatpacking workers demand protection as pandemic hits US food supply chain. By Jerry White, 14 April 2020. Over the last few weeks, more than 2,000 food processing workers have tested positive and scores have died, including five meatpacking workers in Colorado, Pennsylvania and Georgia and at least 41 grocery store workers in New York, Illinois and Michigan.

Five Michigan grocery and retail workers die from COVID-19. By Stephen Fuller, 14 April 2020. Evidence is emerging that the pandemic is sweeping through workers at grocery and retail establishments, which have been kept open and identified as part of the critical infrastructure workforce in most states.

From the World Socialist Web Site, 14 April 2020:

Illinois food processing workers walk out after worker falls sick with COVID-19

Some 70 workers at Raymundo’s Food Group in Bedford Park, Illinois walked off the job April 3, one day after being notified a co-worker contracted COVID-19. Workers charged management has done nothing to implement social distancing in the plant and have since self-quarantined claiming two other workers showed signs of the virus.

Workers signed a petition to management demanding a $2 an hour hazard pay increase and that the plant be disinfected. They claim the company has a long record of forcing employees to work while sick. Management responded by refusing to provide hazard pay and declared they would hire replacement workers to reopen the facility.

The company claims to have hired a professional cleaning but has not indicated they would follow through with a plan on social distancing. “What’s the point of cleaning the plant if workers who are potentially already infected come straight back to work?” Moises Zavala, a union organizer with the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) told the Chicago Sun-Times. “The company didn’t take precautions to stop the spread to begin with, now who knows how many people are infected.”

Workers unionized in November of 2019. Raymundo’s countered by appealing to the National Labor Relations Board to decertify the UFCW.

Nurse fired for defending hospital workers against discipline for complaining about lack of protective equipment against coronavirus

A registered nurse at Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune, New Jersey was fired April 6 for seeking to defend a nurse who was being disciplined. Adam Witt, who worked in the hospital’s emergency room and also serves as the president of the local chapter of the Health Professionals and Allied Employees union, accompanied the nurse to a disciplinary hearing. Management fired him for being a no-show at his job.

According to the union, there have been a rash of disciplinary actions and terminations against nurses who have complained about a lack of personal protective equipment to combat the coronavirus and then resorted to bringing their own masks.

Management has responded by demanding nurses dispose of the masks. After firing Witt, his photo was posted on doors in the hospital notifying staff he was not permitted on the premises. A complaint by the union to the National Labor Relations Board claimed, “his was clearly posted as a warning to other employees to not support the union and not to speak up on behalf of their fellow employees.”

“[COVID-19] will turn our detentions into a death sentence”. Immigrants at US detention centers lead hunger strikes, face persecution demanding protections from pandemic. By Renae Cassimeda, 14 April 2020. Nearly 200 immigrants, in male and female cell blocks, are currently staging a hunger strike and sit-in at the Mesa Verde ICE Processing Center in Bakersfield, California.

As US infections and deaths continue to rise. Democrats join with Trump in bipartisan push for rapid return to work. By Benjamin Mateus and Barry Grey, 14 April 2020. The ruling class in the United States is preparing to reopen the economy despite a complete lack of a public health infrastructure to address the deadly risk of a second surge.

Trump, the media, and the COVID-19 disaster. 14 April 2020. Even as they focus on Trump’s obvious negligence, the Democratic Party and the New York Times cannot account for their own failure to warn the public and demand emergency measures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic: here.

As first sailor from COVID-19-stricken carrier dies, Pentagon stresses readiness for war. By Bill Van Auken, 14 April 2020. The deadly coronavirus has spread to a number of other ships in the Navy and is infecting members of every other branch of the US military.

5 thoughts on “Coronavirus, United States update

  1. Pingback: United States slaughterhouses, coronavirus epicentres | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  2. Negotiations are happening now in the House and Senate, and they’re moving quickly. Here’s the situation:

    After passing an initial coronavirus package last month, negotiators are working now to hash out another relief bill.

    In the first round, we successfully blocked funds from going to Trump-owned properties and removed $3 billion in direct payouts to the oil industry. Since then, oil company executives from Exxon Mobil, Chevron, Occidental Petroleum, and Continental Resources have met directly with Trump to seek relief funding.

    Trump’s reaction…”I’m with you 1,000 percent.”

    Bottom line: There will be a new attempt to divert relief funds to the oil and gas industries. In the lead up to the next vote, we’re looking for every LCV member to pitch in to make sure that doesn’t happen.

    A donor is triple-matching every gift made to LCV right now. Please, donate today. Even $5 can make a huge difference »

    This is a fight we have to go big on. The oil industry already receives billions in taxpayer subsidies every year. All of our relief efforts right now should be focused on protecting public health and providing relief for families and small businesses who need it most — NOT helping industries whose pollution makes death from COVID-19 more likely and perpetuates systemic environmental injustice.

    This is a fight we can win — I promise. How do we know? We already blocked their attempt in the first relief package — we raised hell, and made any bailout for corporate polluters a non-starter. But this next negotiation or vote may move quickly — if we don’t keep up our pressure campaigns, there’s no guarantee on how this will go.

    The best thing you can do to help is make an emergency donation. A donor is triple matching every contribution.

    We need your help to pull this off. Please — make an emergency donation today »

    It’s a frightening and uncertain time right now. Thank you, sincerely, for keeping the fight up anyway.

    Gene Karpinski
    League of Conservation Voters


  3. Pingback: Homeless Californians take over vacant houses | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  4. Pingback: Coronavirus update, Britain | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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