Appearing on CNN's "New Day" with host Alisyn Camerota, the former head of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) handed the President an "F" for his handling of the coronavirus pandemic when it comes to worker safety and bluntly called the president a failure.
Less than 24 hours after the president held a confrontational press conference that was long on invective and short on information on efforts made by the government to halt the spread of the COVID-19 virus, David Michaels was asked to grade how things are going for frontline workers since the pandemic gripped the country.
Introduced as the "longest-serving head" of the safety agency, host Camerota asked, "OSHA, as we understand it, is tasked with protecting these workers and making sure they're not in hazardous situations -- what grade do you give to how OSHA has handled this coronavirus pandemic?"
"It's disheartening, he began. "But I would give them an F. They're simply missing in action in handling this epidemic. 12 weeks ago safety and health experts said OSHA should be preparing, should be issuing emergency standards to make sure workers are protected first in health care and then all these other essential workers and OSHA still hasn't done it. OSHA has been invisible in this whole response."
"Well, what should OSHA be doing?" Camerota pressed. "Because you were there for so long, what can they be doing to protect the workers?"
"Well, first it's got to come down from the top," he replied. "It's not just OSHA. President Trump has failed. He's not made the order to employers to protect workers and to tell OSHA to get out there and very prominently say that every employer here are rules that you must follow. and those rules should be in the CDC guidelines. But OSHA is not saying that employers have to follow those rules. OSHA is saying nothing and the CDC is saying employers should follow those rules. and that makes a big difference."