According to a report from the Daily Beast, a laundry machine supply company hired a Trump-connected lobbying firm in an attempt to be added to the federal government’s list of industries deemed "critical" amid the coronavirus outbreak.
Laundrylux, based out of Long Island, New York, contracted the firm Ballard Partners on March 21. The firm took the company's request to the Department of Homeland Security. One week later, DHS came out with a new list of "critical" industries which included “laundromats, laundry services, and dry cleaners.”
According to the Daily Beast, it's not entirely clear what constitutes a “critical” industry during the coronavirus pandemic, and "the federal government’s somewhat arbitrary and ad hoc treatment of the question is driving companies to staff up with high-powered Washington lobbyists to help get them on the list."
"DHS’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency has been tasked with determining which industries are considered 'critical infrastructure' during the coronavirus pandemic," writes the Daily Beast's Lachlan Markay. "While the list is purely advisory, it’s designed to guide state and local decisions about which businesses to keep open as more governments issue blanket stay-at-home orders to combat the virus."
Read the full report over at the Daily Beast.