Maddow outs Colorado beef processing plant for refusing to test workers after health dept. says they must
MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow (screengrab)

MSNBC host Rachel Maddow outed the Colorado beef processing plant, JBS USA, that was mandated to test all of its employees, but once a large number of the managers came up positive they stopped testing.


White House coronavirus task force chief Mike Pence said that they were handling the situation.

"The plant was working with the White House directly, I mean they're being talked about publicly by the vice president, about how they're going to surge testing resources there," said Maddow. "The company who runs that plant in Greeley put out a statement that same day. Saying, 'Today, JBS USA announces it is working in partnership with the U.S. federal government, the Colorado governor and the U.S. Sen. Corey Gardner to secure COVID-19 tests for all of its team members, at the Greeley, Colorado, beef production facility.'"

Despite everyone saying "we're on it," Maddow explained "they didn't test all their workers. They decided they would close for a while, and then reopen, and start running the plant again without testing everybody who works there. They started testing managers in Greeley, and supervisors in Greeley, first, and the results of those tests were reportedly over 40 percent positive and when they got those results, then the company decided actually they weren't going to test all their workers after all, because imagine what they would find."

So, they reopened without testing everyone, despite publicly announcing it is what they'd do and the county health department told them to. "The company just didn't."

Seven of the workers in the processing plant in Greely have already died. She was also told by a family member about a worker who is now on a ventilator after visiting the company's "health clinic" about having trouble breathing. She took a day off but then came back to work. When she got worse she was admitted to the University of Colorado hospital at the end of March and is now in a coma on a ventilator. Her daughter gave birth just before she went into the hospital and her son, a U.S. Marine can't get home to see her.

Luckily, the workers of the plant are unionized and they have filed a family medical leave act claim on their behalf, but so far they've heard nothing.

The company took issue with Maddow's characterization, saying, "we do not have a company-affiliated clinic in Greeley. We do have an on-site health services team that is focused on diagnosing and treating occupational health injuries and illnesses only."

"Because this isn't something she got occupationally?" Maddow interrupted.

"And does not provide primary care medical services," the statement ended. They said that team members should go to their primary care doctor for further evaluation.

"The company that owns this plant, that reopened this plant without testing all their workers, despite the fact that they had an agreement with the county health department that they would test all of the workers despite the fact that they said they were working with the White House, to secure tests for all of their workers, despite their public statements, to that effect, they reopened without testing all of their workers, seven of their workers have died, we know at least one is hospitalized and on a ventilator," Maddow recalled.

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