Monday, October 26, 2020

Feds 'hit' WI plant with wrist slap for huge COVID outbreak

The federal government has routinely distorted, disregarded and even abandoned  - 'We're not going to control the pandemic' - traditional public service missions to better line up with and serve Trump and GOP family values [sic].

So it is not surprising that the US Department of Labor's Occupational Health and Safety Administration, (OSHA) sanctioned a Brown County meatpacking plant owned by the Brazilian-based/world's largest meatpacker with a penalty of $13,494 for unsafe working conditions that led to 348 documented cases of COVID-19 - which computes to a puny wrist slap of $38.77 per victim: 

OSHA fines JBS Packerland for failing to implement safety precautions during COVID-19 outbreak that sickened more than 300 
The outbreak at JBS was among the worst at a single facility in Wisconsin. Workers argued the company responded too slowly to the pandemic while encouraging them to work with offers of free T-shirts, ground beef and toilet paper.

Imagine finding out that the US government places the value of a COVID-19 hit to your physical well-being and psyche at under $40 bucks. 

That's less than the cost of two $20 KFC Fill-up meals or twenty gallons of gas.

Another way to measure the barely detectable impact of the penalty:  $13,494 for 348 documented cases of COVID-19 is slightly less than the cost of treating one COVID-19 patient in Wisconsin, experts report

COVID-19 treatment costs about $14,500 per person, new study says


Large numbers of workers in some Wisconsin meat-packing plants are foreign-born.

Perhaps the penalty assessed by OSHA would have been bigger if more of the stricken individuals were people whom Wisconsin Supreme Court Chief Justice Patience Roggensack had termed "regular folks" when she was deciding whether Gov. Evers emergency 'Safer-at-Home' order to slow the pandemic was to be extended. (She wrote the 4-3 decision that killed the order.)

WI GOP Assembly Speaker Robin Vos separately blamed cultural and lifestyle choices made by immigrant meatpacking workers - not a word about corporate practices - for the spread of the coronavirus in his district. 

“I know the reason at least in my region is because of a large immigrant population where it’s just a difference in culture where people are living much closer and working much closer,” the Rochester Republican said of an outbreak in Racine County. 

The Rochester Republican's comments prompted Latino groups to call for Vos' resignation.



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