Trump: Don’t Forcefully Expose Meat Production Workers to Coronavirus

Target: Donald Trump, President of the United States

Goal: Do not endanger workers’ health by forcing meat processing plants to stay open.

President Trump is forcing meat processing plants to stay open during the COVID-19 pandemic, citing them as critical infrastructure. In order to do this, Trump invoked the Defense Production Act, a law that was passed in the 1950s in response to the Korean War that allows the president to control the production of items that could either defend the nation or mobilize troops. Last month, Trump used this same law to order General Motors to produce ventilators.

There is already news that the US will be facing meat shortages in the coming weeks because of processing plants closing down in response to the global pandemic. These heavily-staffed processing plants have become hotspots for the coronavirus. More than 5,000 meat and food processing employees are reported to be infected by or exposed to COVID-19.

While the processing plants are ordered to open back up to prevent meat shortages across the nation and protect supply chains, workers’ unions and advocates are worried about the health of employees. Many processing plants require workers to stand in very close proximity to each other, in many cases shoulder-to-shoulder, despite the CDC’s continual call for social distancing of at least six feet. A union president said of the move, “We only wish that this administration cared as much about the lives of working people as it does about meat, pork, and poultry products.”

In 2019, Popular Science reported that Americans, on average, ate a whopping 220 pounds of meat each over the course of 2018— a new record for per capita meat consumption. Sign this petition to urge President Trump to drop the Defense Production Act order on meat processing plants and allow each plant to make decisions based on the health and wellness of their workers.


Dear President Trump,

Americans eat more meat than any other nation on planet earth. Our consumption of meat has been linked to fatal conditions like high cholesterol and heart disease. Americans can afford to eat less meat. Right now, workers in meat processing plants are put at high risk of exposure to or infection by COVID-19. Forcing these workers to go back to the processing plants will only endanger more American lives.

Even with the projected 25% reduction in meat supplies of grocery stores, the American public will manage. I urge you to put the health and wellbeing of workers’ first. The most important focus should be eradicating COVID-19. Lift the Defense Production Act and allow processing plants to make individual decisions about their openings.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: US Government Accountability Office


One Comment

  1. Elizabeth Story says:

    Meat is not essential for humans to survive – there are plenty of alternatives. The health and lives of the meat workers should not be sacrificed to provide a non-essential product.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


184 Signatures

  • Barbra Doherty
  • Marianne Mancini
  • Monique Battoue-Delporte
  • Wanda Ray
  • Aaron Grafton
  • Carolyn Adams Adams
  • Andreas Dorst
  • Julia Linke
  • Beate Aurich
  • Marisol Serrano
1 of 18123...18
Skip to toolbar