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On Tuesday, Pres. Trump signed an executive order attempting to keep a pending meat shortage at a distance because of the coronavirus.

The order utilizes the Defense Production Act to classify meat processing as “critical infrastructure” and keep production plants open.

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Industry leaders warned that consumers could see meat shortages in a matter of days after workers at major facilities tested positive for the virus. With two of the nation’s biggest pork processing plants are currently closed, Pres. Trump told reporters Tuesday that “there’s plenty of supply,” but that supply chains had hit “sort of a legal roadblock more than anything else.”

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Trump’s executive order protects plants from the liability which they had been leery of operating in the first place:

via Bloomberg

Trump plans to use the Defense Production Act to order the companies to stay open as critical infrastructure, and the government will provide additional protective gear for employees as well as guidance, according to the person.

The order sets the stage for a showdown between America’s meat giants, which have been pressing to reopen plants, and some local officials and labor unions who’ve called for closures in a bid to prevent the virus from spreading. The president himself has long agitated for Americans to return to work and restore an economy crippled by social distancing measures.

Trump signaled the executive action at the White House on Tuesday, saying he planned to sign an order aimed at Tyson Foods Inc.’s liability, which had become “a road block” for the company. He didn’t elaborate.

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The real solution here is not the Defense Production Act, although invoking it was probably necessary at the moment. It’s to end the lockdowns and combat the coronavirus without continuing to commit national economic suicide.

Good decision to keep the plants open. Just the announcement should help to slow down panic buying in the stores. These plants are essential, and people can be replaced when they fall ill. Like casualties on the battlefield, you plug the gaps and keep driving forward.

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