SPONSORED:

Democrats demand answers from Labor Department on CDC recommendations for meatpacking plant

Democrats demand answers from Labor Department on CDC recommendations for meatpacking plant
© Getty images

House and Senate Democrats called on Labor Secretary Eugene ScaliaEugene ScaliaBusiness groups, universities file lawsuit over new rules targeting H-1B visas Baldwin calls for Senate hearing on CDC response to meatpacking plant coronavirus outbreak Labor secretary's wife tests positive for COVID-19 MORE to provide information on the agency's involvement with recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to a Smithfield meatpacking plant that had a COVID-19 outbreak. 

Sen. Patty MurrayPatricia (Patty) Lynn MurrayPlaintiff and defendant from Obergefell v. Hodges unite to oppose Barrett's confirmation Overnight Health Care: Trump takes criticism of Fauci to a new level | GOP Health Committee chairman defends Fauci | Birx confronted Pence about Atlas Government watchdog to investigate allegations of Trump interference at CDC, FDA MORE (Wash.), the top Democrat on the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, and House Education and Labor Committee Chairman Bobby ScottRobert (Bobby) Cortez ScottHouse committee subpoenas Education Department staff over for-profit colleges Democrats demand answers from Labor Department on CDC recommendations for meatpacking plant Pelosi urges early voting to counter GOP's high court gambit: 'There has to be a price to pay' MORE (D-Va.) sent a letter to Scalia along with Sen. Tammy BaldwinTammy Suzanne BaldwinInfrastructure, energy investments urgently needed to create U.S. jobs Senate Democrats call for ramped up Capitol coronavirus testing Baldwin calls for Senate hearing on CDC response to meatpacking plant coronavirus outbreak MORE (D-Wis.) and Rep. Alma AdamsAlma Shealey AdamsFrom HBCUs to Capitol Hill: How Congress can play an important role Democrats demand answers from Labor Department on CDC recommendations for meatpacking plant Coronavirus Report: The Hill's Steve Clemons interviews Rep. Lauren Underwood MORE (D-N.C.).

The Smithfield Foods plant in Sioux Falls, S.D., was the site of a coronavirus outbreak in April. At least 1,294 Smithfield workers contracted the coronavirus, and four employees died from it.

ADVERTISEMENT

CDC workers visited the plant that month and provided recommendations to reduce disease transmission. The Democrats claim that the recommendations were later withdrawn, watered down and then a final version was released. 

The Democrats requested Scalia provide copies of all communications between the Labor Department and the CDC or Agriculture Department regarding a site visit to Smithfield.

The letter to request this information from Scalia follows CDC Director Robert Redfield last week telling Baldwin that his office was in contact with the Agriculture Department and Labor Department about the Smithfield outbreak.

Baldwin asked Redfield about these recommendations in a HELP Committee hearing last month and Redfield said at the time he had no contact with the Agriculture Department, White House or Smithfield on the matter.

The senators also requested copies of communications between Smithfield and the Labor Department, copies of reports of the in-person visit, a list of all versions of the visit memo, and copies of communications between the Labor Department and any other federal agency on the visit.