Anytime I read something that has made all the major headlines (like Fox, CNN, WaPo, NYT, etc.), and is sending the same ‘message,’ I almost immediately raise my guard.
In the latest scary COVID headline being reported, the democrat chairman of Tyson Foods wrote an “open letter” warning America of food shortages on the way because of recent shut downs of meat processing plants.
In an open letter published as a full-page ad in Sunday’s New York Times, Washington Post and Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, John H. Tyson outlined Tyson Foods’ response to the ongoing coronavirus health crisis, but hinted that further closures — not only of Tyson Foods facilities, but competitors’ facilities as well — would put stress on the nation’s food supply.
In recent weeks, Tyson Foods has been forced to temporarily pause operations at a number of plants following outbreaks of COVID-19, or because of staffing shortages caused by the pandemic.
[BUT NOT ALL OF THEM.]
“In addition to meat shortages, this is a serious food waste issue,” Tyson claimed. “Farmers across the nation simply will not have anywhere to sell their livestock to be processed, when they could have fed the nation. Millions of animals – chickens, pigs and cattle – will be depopulated because of the closure of our processing facilities. The food supply chain is breaking.”
[Is he saying there’s absolutely no way to reopen these processing plants? There’s no potential of having workers return and machines operating because of a virus that has a less than one percent fatality rate?] Come on.]
Tyson said the company had adopted several new practices to prevent the spread of COVID-19 at its processing facilities, including new social distancing requirements, workstation dividers, deep cleanings, and temperature screenings (some performed by infrared “walkthrough” scanners), among other precautionary measures.
Still, Tyson said the supply chain will remain “vulnerable” and confirmed a “limited supply of our products” until its own plants could reopen.
“The government bodies at the national, state and county levels must unite in a comprehensive way to allow our team members to work in safety without fear, panic or worry,” he wrote. “The private and public sectors must come together.”
A representative for Tyson Foods told Fox News on Monday that its facilities were currently “running at reduced levels of production,” and were working hard to remain open. “But if it is the right decision to shut down more facilities, we will do so.”
Tyson’s full-page ads come less than a week after the company was forced to suspend operations at its largest pork plant in Waterloo, Iowa. The company also temporarily shuttered plants in Indiana, Washington and another in Iowa.
As of last week, four Tyson Foods employees had been reported to have died of coronavirus.
Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY), who is also is a beef rancher, spoke about the food supply chain on SiriusXM’s Breitbart News Sunday with host Joel Pollak.
“I’ll tell you why there will be shortages,” Massie said. “Right now there aren’t shortages because there was a supply of meat that was destined for restaurants, and the demand at the restaurants was curtailed when they were shut down. It’s frozen meat, and [restaurants] are repackaging it and diverting that supply to the grocery stores.”
“That supply is going to run out,” Massie said. “The [meat] pipeline has a crimp in it, and that’s at the processing plants.”
“A significant fraction of our country’s processing plants have shut down due to COVID,” Massie said.
Other members of Congress own cattle, but only a few of us RAISE cattle.
I fix the fences, feed the hay, castrate bulls, fertilize fields, put tags in their ears, move them between pastures, wean calves.
FOOD SHORTAGES ARE COMING.
USDA needs to acknowledge and respond now.
— Thomas Massie (@RepThomasMassie) April 26, 2020
The Associated Press (AP) reported on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (USDA) response to these developments:
The U.S. Department of Agriculture said late last week that it expects beef prices to climb 1 percent to 2 percent this year, poultry as much as 1.5 percent and pork between by from 2 percent and 3 percent.
The agency acknowledged that consumer buying patterns change weekly and that some products face supply-chain disruptions that could affect prices. But the USDA said its planned $3 billion purchase of fresh produce, dairy and meat should help stabilize prices. The government will work with food distributors to provide the purchased products to food banks, community and faith-based organizations and other nonprofits serving the needy.
Sarah Little, a spokeswoman for the North American Meat Institute, an industry trade group, said in the AP report, “It’s down across the board right now, so the next couple of weeks we should see how the system works. It’s never been tested like this before.”
Personally, I think there is an overreaction in these closures. Sure, democrats would love to see the nation plunged into chaotic hunger and anger, but the majority of Americans do not want that, and reopening all industries, especially processing plants and other supply chain cogs, is the first step to halting the dangerous repercussions of a virus that we now know is NOT as fatal as ‘researchers’ claimed.