Emails Reveal Chaos as Meatpacking Companies Fought Health Agencies Over COVID-19 Outbreaks in Their Plants
For weeks, Rachel Willard, the county health director in Wilkesboro, North Carolina, had watched with alarm as COVID-19 cases rolled in from the Tyson Foods chicken plant in the center of town. Then Tyson hired a private company to take over testing, and the information suddenly slowed to a trickle. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle)
}); Blinded to the burgeoning health crisis, Willard and her small staff grew increasingly agitated.
Doug Hassebroek pours confetti over his daughter Lydia, celebrating her graduation ceremony at their home during the outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Brooklyn, New York, June 17.
A Kentucky State Trooper explains to Margaret Wells, of Louisville, that the line outside a temporary unemployment office established by the Kentucky Labor Cabinet is closed at the State Capitol Annex in Frankfort, Kentucky, June 17.
(L-R) Safety Erik Harris, fullback Alec Ingold and linebacker Kyle Wilber of the Las Vegas Raiders work out in a park on June 17, in Las Vegas, Nevada. Training camp for all NFL teams is scheduled to start on July 28, depending on complications from the coronavirus pandemic.
Customers distance before entering an Apple Store during phase one of reopening after the COVID-19 lockdown in New York City, New York, June 17.
Rhode Island Democratic state Rep. Raymond Hull, below center, holds a microphone on the floor of the House Chamber while separated by plastic protective barriers at the start of a legislative session, June 17, at the Statehouse, in Providence, R.I. Wednesday's session was the first by the legislature to be held on the floor of the chamber since March of 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Democratic U.S. presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden sits and talks with local residents about the effects of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic on their small businesses on the outside patio of the Carlette’s Hideaway sports bar during a campaign stop in Yeadon, Pennsylvania, June 17.
Designer face masks in the display window of a beauty and wig salon are for sale in Washington, DC on June 17.
Liz Cahn, center, and her daughter Cara eat lunch at Meli-Melo Creperie, Juice Bar & Cafe on June 17 in Greenwich, Connecticut. The state began Phase 2 today, which includes allowing indoor seating at restaurants during the coronavirus pandemic.
Medical personnel and volunteers assist people in line for free public COVID-19 testing at Judiciary Square in Washington, D.C on June 17.
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer addresses the state during a speech in Lansing, Michigan on June 17. The governor says she is optimistic about a return to in-person instruction at K-12 schools in the fall, announcing she will release further guidance on June 30.
Babycakes, a blue-and-gold macaw, walks around a social distancing sign at the Maritime Aquarium in Norwalk, Connecticut on June 17. After a three-month closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Phase 2 of the reopening of Connecticut started today which includes aquariums. The Maritime Aquarium will reopen to the public on June 20, 2020 with online ticketing for timed entry and other special guidelines for guest and staff well-being.
Shoppers, some wearing facemasks, walk at the Mall of America on June 16 in Bloomington, Minnesota, after some of the shops at the mall reopened on June 10.
North Andover residents hold up pink cards to vote on an issue at the high school football field during the annual town meeting, while maintaining social distancing due to COVID-19 concerns, on June 16 in North Andover, Massachusetts. It is the first ever outdoor town meeting since North Andover was established in 1646.
Bartender Kat DeLaTorre stands with her son Nico, 12, during a "Right to Work" rally outside of the Elbo Room bar, which remains closed, during the new coronavirus pandemic, on June 16 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
A Transportation Security Administration officer, right, talks with a passenger at a security checkpoint in O'Hare International Airport, on, June 16 in Chicago. Beginning June 16 at American Airlines and June 18 at United Airlines, all passengers and crew members will be required to wear masks to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
Bartenders Holly Mackinder, left, and Jessica Dawkins, hold signs during a "Right to Work" rally outside of the Elbo Room bar, which remains closed during the new coronavirus pandemic, on June 16 in Fort Lauderdale. Across Florida, bars were part of the Phase 2 reopenings that occurred earlier in June, except in three counties in South Florida.
People walk on international border crossing bridge on El Paso, Texas cross into to Ciudad Juarez as the U.S. Department of Homeland Security extended limits on non-essential travel at land ports of entry, at Paso del Norte international border crossing bridge, as the coronavirus disease outbreak continues, on June 16. Picture taken from the Ciudad Juarez side.
A security guard walks by a stock ticker on the front door of the New York Stock Exchange, on June 16. Stocks are rising sharply in early trading on Wall Street after retail sales in the U.S. soared by a record 17.7% from April to May, double what economists were expecting and a welcome sign that spending is partially rebounding after the devastating coronavirus shutdowns.
Washington state Gov. Jay Inslee listens at an outdoor round table meeting with leaders in local government, health care and business talking about the high rate of coronavirus cases in the area at Yakima Valley College on June 16, in Yakima, Washington. Inslee met to discuss the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in the area, which has one of the highest rates of infection in the state.
Shoppers carry their bags past a hand sanitizing station at the Village Pointe shopping mall in Omaha, Nebraska., on June 16. American shoppers ramped up their spending on store purchases by a record 17.7% from April to May, delivering a dose of energy for retailers that have been reeling since the coronavirus shut down businesses, flattened the economy and paralyzed consumers during the previous two months.
City workers toil to repaint a crosswalk leading to the Z Casino as preparations heat up for the reopening of gaming houses after a three-month closure because of the spread of the new coronavirus on June 16, in Black Hawk. Casinos in Black Hawk, nearby Central City and Cripple Creek have been granted approval from the state to open on a limited basis as coronavirus cases diminish in Colorado.
Kevin Norsworthy, State Theater's "marquee master," puts a new message outside the venue on June 16 in Portland, Maine. Norsworthy, who is optimistic the State will survive because of local community support, said 90 percent of independent concert venues around the country may close permanently due to the coronavirus pandemic. The theater still does not have any plans for reopening but has rescheduled some cancelled shows for next year.
Sen. Jay Kahn bumps elbows with Sen. John Reagan as they greet prior to a session on June 16 at the State House in Concord, New Hampshire.
Passengers wearing personal protective face masks walk past the Southwest Airlines ticket counter on June 16 at the Tampa International Airport in Tampa, Florida. Some major US airlines, including United, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, JetBlue, and Southwest Airlines, pledged to roll out new policies requiring masks for passengers to help stop the spread of the coronavirus.
A sign notifies visitors that the entire floor has been decontaminated for the COVID-19 virus on June 16 at the State House in Concord, New Hampshire.
Hairstylists Julian Stull, Hironori Inohara and owner Michael Malbon of Frank's Chop Shop visit Bellevue Hospital to give free haircuts to medical workers on June 15 in New York City. Hair salons and barber shops remain closed in the city due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Peet Sapsin leads a class at Inspire South Bay Fitness with students behind plastic sheets in their workout pods while observing social distancing on June 15 in Redondo Beach, California, as the gym reopens today under California's coronavirus Phase 3 reopening guidelines.
A participant has his temperature checked on arrival at the beach as the city of San Diego's Junior Lifeguard Program officially reopens with new protocols in place to comply with county health guidelines for coronavirus safety in San Diego, California on June 15.
A cutout figure wearing a coronavirus pandemic mask reminds customers at the Hatch gift shop to cover their faces to enter the store on June 15 in Brunswick, Maine.
People gather at Asbury Park Beach on June 15 in Asbury Park, N.J.
Caroline Tate, 4, uses a rolled-up bill copy to spy on her father, first-year Sen. Jeff Tate, R-Meridian, as floor debate ensues at the Capitol in Jackson, Miss. on June 15. Due to concerns over the coronavirus, lawmakers suspended the Legislative session for several weeks and are now catching up with the action on proposed legislation.
Stylist Mandi Streeter works on a customer on June 15 in Royal Oak, Mich. Monday was the first-day barbershops and salons were allowed to operate after being closed since March 22 to curb the coronavirus.
Customers are sitting on an outdoor table at a cafe, in Hoboken, New Jersey, on June 15. Governor Murphy announced that New Jersey bars and restaurants will be allowed to reopen for outdoor dining beginning June 15.
Floor attendant Anita White cleans a slot machine in Prairie Meadows Casino, in Altoona, Iowa, on June 15.
People wait in line outside the National Building Museum for walk-up COVID-19 testing, in Washington, D.C., on June 15.
A social distancing sign rests near an escalator at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, in Cleveland, Ohio, on June 15.
First-term U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D, New York, left, rubs hand sanitizer after handing out leaflets explaining how to vote early or by absentee ballot to people at the Parkchester subway station, in Bronx, New York, on June 15. Ocasio-Cortez's workers bump elbows after completing the leafleting effort as they left the subway station.
Navy veteran Alonzo Glenn crosses the street outside the Soldiers' Home, in Chelsea, Massachusetts, on June 15. The Chelsea Soldiers' Home is allowing outdoor visitation in accordance with the state's new guidelines.
People socialize in Central Park without masks and without keeping six feet of distance on June 14 in New York City. Despite the public health protocols recommended by health authorities and elected officials, some people continue to meet with little regard for the risk of propagating the coronavirus.
People enjoy the beach amid the coronavirus pandemic in Huntington Beach, California on June 14.
A customer stops at a drive-thru self-swab coronavirus test site at a CVS Pharmacy location on June 14 in Phoenix, Arizona.
Patricia Veliz, center, receives the Eucharist from Father Enrique Corona during a Sunday Mass at St. Agnes Church, in Paterson, New Jersey, on June 14. The state eased its restrictions on gatherings this week as the state begins to lift measures meant to slow the pandemic. Gov. Phil Murphy also said that outdoor demonstrations protected by the First Amendment, including religious services and protests stemming from George Floyd's death, can be held, regardless of the number of attendees.
An usher squirts hand sanitizer onto a worshiper's hands as she enters for a Mass at St. Agnes Church, in Paterson, New Jersey, on June 14.
Caddie for Gary Woodland of the United States, Brennan Little, uses a wipe on the flag stick as a precautionary measure during the final round of the Charles Schwab Challenge, on June 14, at Colonial Country Club, in Fort Worth, Texas.
A couple parks on the side of the road to have lunch in Grand Teton National Park, on June 13, outside Jackson, Wyoming. Teton National Park is in the process of a Phased re-opening after the shutdown with many of the trails and roads open but the visitor centers, hotels and restaurants still closed.
People gather on a closed street in Brooklyn, as phase one of reopening after lockdown begins, in New York, on June 13.
Jon Batiste performs for medical workers outside NYU Langone Health hospital on June 13, in New York City.
Exhibits are on display at the Trap Music Museum on June 13, in Atlanta, Georgia. The Trap Music Museum reopened with preventative measures based on the CDC and city of Atlanta safety guidelines for businesses to reopen safely.
Bishop O'Connell High School graduates Michael Gallo, Daniel Cahill and Rafael Ruiz process during a front yard drive-in COVID-19 honorary graduation ceremony at a home in Falls Church, Virginia, on June 13.
Danielle Espinoza, left, prepares to cut her own hair as hairstylist Wendy Newsome, in Portland, Ore., provides a virtual guided haircut over their computers through Zoom during the coronavirus outbreak in San Francisco on June 13.
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Arnold Schwarzenegger leaves legendary gym over mask policy
Arnold Schwarzenegger didn't like that his longtime gym wasn't forcing members to wear masks while weightlifting (even though it's not required to.)According to TMZ, the "Terminator" star bicycled to Gold's Gym in Venice, Calif., on Tuesday morning for a workout.
Less than a quarter of hospital beds for intensive care patients are now available in Florida as the state grapples with a spike in coronavirus cases, data out of Tallahassee revealed on Thursday.
There were 1,371 adult ICU spots available out of 6,057 statewide, which is about 22.6 percent, the Agency for Health Care Administration showed in an update posted at 1:46 p.m. ET.
Bing COVID-19 tracker: Latest numbers by country and state
That troublingly low figure includes data from Broward County, Florida's second largest, which had just 20.9 percent of ICU beds ready at that time.
Virus Cases Are Soaring in Texas. But Closing Down Again Is a ‘Last Option.’
HOUSTON — The coronavirus has been testing America’s governors. Few are being squeezed harder than Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas. Mr. Abbott, the governor of the country’s largest Republican-controlled state, reopened Texas in May, eager to be part of President Trump’s push to restart the economy sooner rather than later. But the reopening has backfired, creating the makings of a political and public health disaster that is putting the lives of Texans at risk, adding ammunition to Mr. Abbott’s long-running war with the Democrats who run the state’s biggest cities and drawing unusually sharp criticism from fellow Republicans.
Hillsborough County, the state's fourth most populous county, had only 20.2 percent available.
According to the same data, 26 hospitals throughout Florida had no available ICU capacity. Miami-Dade, the state's most populous county, had three hospitals with 0 percent availability.
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Also on Thursday, the state had an increase of more than 3,200 cases in the biggest single-day spike of this pandemic.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he'll be conferring with his public health experts and consider calls for a two-week quarantine against Floridians coming into his state.
Back at the start of pandemic in March, when New York City and the state were fully in the grips of the pandemic, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis ordered that visitors from those hard hit regions had to quarantine in the Sunshine State.
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"They were afraid that New Yorkers would being the virus to their state," Cuomo told reporters on Thursday. "Fast forward 100 days, now we're afraid they're bringing the virus to our state."
Cuomo had to fight a grin as he mulled the possible Florida quarantine.
"Who would believe this 180 turnaround?" he said. © Chandan Khanna Image: A medical worker fills out a form while speaking to a driver at a drive-thru coronavirus testing lab in West Palm Beach, Fla., on March 16, 2020.
The US’s new surge in coronavirus cases, explained .
America could have prevented another surge in coronavirus cases. It’s now clear it didn’t.There’s some debate about whether this is the “second wave” of infections, or whether it’s a continuation of the first wave that began in early 2020 and never really ended. But what’s clear is the US is now suffering from a rapid rise in coronavirus cases. So far, that’s yet to translate to a rising death toll, likely because rises and falls in deaths tend to lag behind rises and falls in overall cases.