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tv   Democracy Now  LINKTV  April 14, 2020 4:00pm-5:00pm PDT

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04/14/20 04/14/20 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from new york, the epicenter of t the pandemic, ths is democracy now! >> he totold us,s, we don't wanu close to people. you need to keep your distance because we just learned that the people thahat were taken from he tested positive to coronavirus. >> even with obstacles coronanavirus, i cannot t leavey work. i cannot keep p myself in quarantine becausese i need to
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earn a l living to s support my family.. amy: i is the corononavirus swes acacross the u united ststates g 600,00000 confirmemed cases andn ththis 24,4,000 dead, we look ae country's food supplies chain in the millions of farmworkers and meatpackers who are still going toto work every day, often in na crcrowded conditions withoutut personal protective equipment, for poverty y wages. that provides 5% of the countries fork supplies, more than 350 workers have tested positive. we will speak with a farmworker with the coalition of immokalee workers in florida, the cofounder of the national farmworker women's alliance in ohio, the head of food and water watch, and the director of a group that advocates for poultry plant workers in springdale, arkansas, home to tyson foods headquarters. all that and more, coming up.
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welcome to democracy now!,, the quarantine report. i'm amy goodman. the global death toll from the coronavirus has topped 120,000, with o over 1.1.9 million confid cases. the united states represents the largest percentage of known cases with over 587,000 and also leads in the death toll, which is nearing 24,000. here in new york, the statewide death toll has topped 10,000, as total confirmed cases near 200,000 -- over half of these in new york city. latinx people represent 34% of those who have died of coronavirus in new york city, the highest death toll in the city, while african-american residents 28% of deaths. new york governor andrew cuomo said that despite the rising death toll and the high number of current hospitalizations,
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around 19,000, other indicators of the outbreak's progress such as daily death toll and new hospitalized patients, appeared to be leveling off. cuomo warned the trend could easily start to reverse if new yorkers ease up on social distancing and quarantining measures. despite the glimmers of hope, new york city hospitals say they continue to be stretched to their limits. the news outlet the city reports nurses at the public bellevue hospitals have been told to sign forms falsely stating they are trained in certain types of care in order to compensate for staff and equipmpment shortages. at least 5 50 department off education employees have died from the coronavirus in new york city, including 21 public school teachers. overer the weekend, new w york y mayor bill de blasio said schools will remain closed until the fall but was quickly undercut by governor andrew cuomo, who said the decision was not yet mamade, leaving millions of students, teachers, and
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parents in country's largesest school district in the dark about their situation. in neighboring new jersey, governor phil murphy warned cases were still surging and the state faces a severe shortage of tests. nearly 2500 covid-19 deaths and 65,000 infections have been reported in new jersey. the national guard has been deployed to a veterans' home in paramus, new jersey, where 37 deaths in recent weeks are believed to be caused covid-19. a state-run nursing home in menlo park, new jersey, has reported at least 14 deaths. hospitals that other coronavirus hotspots around the country are also reporting dire conditions as they deal with the surge in critically sick patients. in detroit, photos obtained by cnn from an emergency room people who bodies of have died of covid 19 being
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stored in vacant hospital rooms, piled on top of each other inside refridgerated holding units in the parking lot. the photos are from early april when hospital staff say they were treating between 100 and 130 patients at a time. in virginia, evangelical pastor who defied stay-at-home orders to hold packed services died of covid 19. bishop gerald glenn told his congregation march 22 "i firmly believe that god is larger than this dreaded virus. you can quote me on that," he said. in guam, a sailor from thehe coronavivirus-stricken ussss theododore roosevelt died momony of covid-19-relalated complilications. it's the first death from covid-19 among the ship's crew. the vessel's captain brett crozier was removed from his post after he wrote a memo pleading for help as his crew started testing g positive for e coronavirus. neararly 600 s sailors from thep have tested positive for
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-- since evacuating. in chicago propublica reports at , least 19 children and two staff have tested positive with covid-19 at a heartland alliance shelter for immigrant youth, making it the largest coronavirus outbreak inside a facility for unaccompanied minors in the u.s. in other news from chicago, in residents of the predominantly mexican and latinx neighborhood little village may file a lawsuit after a city-ordered implosion at a closed power plant this weekend filled the entire neighborhood with thick dust as local officials try to combat the coronavirus outbreak. the dust then settled on homes, vehicles, and other structures with residents fearing this could worsen the health of people with respiratory illnesses, including residents who may have contracted cocoronavirus. a group of northeastern states -- new york, new jersey, connecticut, pennsylvania, delaware, and rhode island --
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said monday they are developing according to plan to end coronavirus lockdowns and reopen schools and businesses. massachusetts governor charlie baker became the first republican to join the effort when he announced later on monday he had joined the discussions. on the west coast, california, washington, and oregon said they would create a similar framework. trump lashed out following the announcement and declared he has the power to override governors. pres. trump: the president of the united states calls the shots. if we weren't here for the states, would have had a problem like you've never seen before. >> there's a debate over what authority you have to order the country reopen. what authority do you have? pres. trump: i have the ultimate authority. amy: trump also said monday he would reopen the country "based on a lot of facts and a lot of instincts." at the start of his monday coronavirus press briefing, trump showed a campaign-style video defending his response to the pandemic -- an apparent response to recent reporting he
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gravely mishandled the early days of the crisis. trump clashed with cbs reporter paula reid when questioned about reports of his early inaction. some you bought yourself time that you did not need to prepare hospitals, did not use it to ramp up testing. pres. trump: you're so disgraceful. it is so disgraceful the way youth they that. look, you know you are a fake. you know that? the way you c cover is fakeke. amy: meaeanwhile, trumump is expected to formally announce his council to reopen america. on monday, fox news reported members include his chief of staff mark meadows, ivanka trump, son-in-law jared kushner, treasury secretary steven mnuchin, economic adviser larry kudlow, u.s. trade representative robert lighthizizer, and commerce secretary wilbur ross -- none of whom are experts in medicine, science, or public health. wilbur ross previously said the pandemic would boost the u.s. job market.
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last month, larry kudlow declared the coronavirus was contained shortly before states around the country started to shut down. senator bernie sanders has endorsed former vice president joe biden for president. senator sanders made the announcement in a joint video ststream with bibiden mondayay,e days after he suspended his own campaiaign. >> tododay i am askiking all americans, i'm asking every democrat, asking every independent, asking a lot of republicans, to come together in this campaign to support y your candidacacy, which i endorse, to make certain thahat we defeat somebody who i believe -- i am speaking just for myself now -- is the most dangerous president in the modern history of this country. amy: b biden and sananders saidy were creating joint task fororcs on key issssues, including heaeh care, the economy, and climate
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crisis. executive editor of "the new york times" dean baquet defended the paper's decision to wait over two weeks to report on tara reade's sexual assault allegation against then-senator biden, saying reporters needed time to investigate the story. the story was published sunday, just days after bernie sanders dropped out of the democratic primary. baquet also said "the new york times" deleted a key phrase in the piece referencing past instances of sexual misconduct by biden after his campaign objected to it. watch bsmocracy now! interview with tara reid, you can go to in related news, joe biden has won the wisconsin primary. the results came in nearly a week after voters risked their health amid the coronavirus outbreak to cast their vote after state republicans and the right-leaning wisconsin supreme court quashed efforts by democratic governor tony evers to delay in-person voting. thousands of voters won't even have their votes counted as the state was unable to cope with
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the influx of demand for mail-in ballots and the u.s. supreme court refused to extend the absentee deadline. in another highly anticipated race, wisconsin liberal judge jill karofsky defeated republican-backed incumbent daniel kelly for a seat on the wisconsin supreme court. kelly was appointed by former governor scott walker. karofsky's win means the state's highest court will now have a 4-3 conservative lean. instead of 5-2. observers say the wisconsin justices refused to delay last week's race in hopes that a lower turnout would favor the conservative candidate. france is extending its lockdown another weeks until may 11. four president emmanuel macron announced the extension in a televised address. >> are we ready for this crisis? clearly not ready enough.
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take decisions which were difficult based on the fragmentary information which is often change. we had to adapt constantly. amy: france has reported over 136,000 cases and close to 15,000 coronavirus deaths. britain is also expected to extend its lockdown into may. turkey could soon release tens of thousands of prisisoners as part of measures to reducece overcrowdingng and curb b the sd of the coronavirus. critics of authoritarian president rerecep tayyip e erdon called out thehe move for excluding joururnalists andd political opopponents who o aren prison as part o of erdogan'ss crackdown n on oppositioion. turkey h has reporteted 61,000 s and 1300 deaths s from the coronavirus. in bolivia, activists are calling for the release of afrobolivian union leader elena flores, who has been behind bars for over a month. supporters say flores, the first woman and first afrobolivian leader of the local coca leaf growers union, was targeted as part of a crackdown on social
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movements and indigenous groups by the government of right-wing interim presidenent jeanine ane, who took power after the ouster last year of president evo morales. a letter signed by over 160 groups -- academics, trade unions, and activists around the world -- is also calling for the release of maria eugenia choque quispe, the president of the supreme electoral board who is accused by the anez regime of committing fraud, and patricia hermosa, an indigenous woman, and the lawyer of former president morales. tensions are flaring in the disputed region of kashmir as indian and pakistani troops traded fire in recent days, killing at least three civilians susunday. indian police say pakistani shelling killed them, while the pakistani military accused indian forces of wounding at least six people the day before. human rights groups warn thahat the e coronavirurus lockdown i n kashmir -- impmposed just wewees afafter a monthshs-long secucury lockdown started to be scaled back -- risks further violating civil liberties in the region.
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and in legal news, the u.s. supreme court will begin hearing oral arguments via teleconference next month for the first time in the court's history. justices will hear cases that were postponed in march and april due to the coronavirus outbreak, including arguments around trump's attempts to shield his tax returns and financial documents. and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!,, the quarantine report. i'm amy goodman. i am in new york, the epicenter , in the world. but we begin today show in new jersey. one of the hardest hit states from the pandemic, only second to new york, with nearly 65,000 confirmed covid 19 cases and just under 2500 deaths. the state's democratic governor phil murphy said his state is
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trying to stay ahead of the need for hospital beds and equipment. an "state of the union" governor murphy said "the house is on fire. we have to put the fire on the house out and then we have to get back on our feet. then at that point, we have to look back and say, what could we have done differentntly?" forr more, we're joined from new jersey by my cohost juan gonzalez, who is joining us from his home in new brunswick. juan, hohow are you anand your family doing? juan: first of all, welcome to all of our listeners and viewers from around the country and around the world. homehas now h hit directly in the last weekek or so. 92-year-old mother got sicick last week. her caregiver in new york k city fellede she lived was and had a hihigh feverer and hao quaranantine. therefore,e, she was left alone.
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my wife andnd i clearly had t to to the bronx, , get herr come ad bring g her here to new w bruns. she had no one else to carare fr her. shee had no fever, though, but she had intends abdominal pain and we trieded to seeee if we cd deal with her and treat her h he for seveveral days a and ended p having to go toto the e emergeny room sundaday. she wawas hospitalized. only whehen i hospitalizized hed did a covivid test t did she tun out t to be positive. so s she is in thehe hospital dealaling with the cobit.. meanwhile, yesteterday, my wifee came down sickck and now she is exextremely weak and -- again, e does not have fever, either, but it is clear that something has affefected her, even as we were trying to dodo with my mother. it has becomome much morere dirt here, not just reporting on it,, but dealing wiwith it. and throroughout central new jersey, , as much of the resestf the eaeast coast, there are thousands of people trying to figugure out without tesesting -
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because they don''t test you unleless theyy actually admit yu to the hospital. amy: juan, if you can stop there for a second. when you brought your mother to the hospital -- to say you brought her to the hospital means you brought her to a tent outside the hospital where you had to leave your 92-year-old mother, right? juan: no one is allowed in. at the ememergency roroom, is it true they wanted to release her? they said they would not test her. juan: they initially said they wowould not tetest her. there were going to releasase hr because i i thought she hadad ad coronavivirus. i kept sayiying, what abobout te unbeararable pain she has? can you u check that out furthe? they did and then decided there were other complications, othehr health issues ththat she had. in orderer to admit her to the hospital, they had to decide whether she had covid o or not becaususe they clearly had to segregate alall of the covidid
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patients in a certain wing of the hospital. at that point when they were getting ready to admit her, they then tested her. ask about the people you're trying to help, particularly immigrants. people are under the illusion in this country, you may not be tested if you are at home and you don't want to risk when the hospital and getting infected, but if you go to an emergency you will be tested. that is not true. that --ly is so lacking i have a friend that went to nyu langone. he was in the emergency room. they would not test them. the doctors and nurses decrieied the e fact they could not test him. they said this is a terrible situation that we can't test you. he wasas in the emergencncy roo. and yoyour mother, the s same. the e only reason she wasas tesd wawas because she was hospitalizeded. juan: and my mother's caregiver who had a h high fever twicice t to mount sinai in new york to
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the emergency room andnd they st her home each time, again, , not testing her. they said you most likely have covid,d, but we're not going too a test. there's a huge problelem in ters of the testiting situatition. inis justst astouounding that the richest country in the world , whicich spends more money on health care than any other countrtry, the fact t that we already have 20% -- about 20% of all covid deaths in the world yet we representnt only 4% o ofe worlds population?n? , why into ask ourselves a country that spent so much money on health care, are we still having problems producing thee m most a sick equipipment - masksks and gowns to protecect peoplele and referent prproductn of tests -- itit is just ann outrage e that discontinuess to bedevil a country as w wealthy s ours. i i really believeve it is partf thiss whole situation of
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neoliberal view of how to run the market that even n hospitall executives andnd industryy leads who have beeeen pursuing maximum revenue and minimum cost for years k kept insisting on ththe fewest numbebers of unfilled be, the bears numbmber of staff that theyey could possisibly keepep . they were e always willing to spend ungodly amounts on these multimillionon dollar medical equipment but never stockpiled basic goods necessaryry in casef a public health emergegency. it is just astounding that this continues to happen. unfortunately, tens of ththousas of people e have already diedd ununnecessarily in theirir homed hospital bededs during thiss crisis. hundreds of thousands s more wil die inin the coming months s asa didirect result of decades of
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greed by our capitalist state who kept pushing this just-in-time production, these data analytics to guarantee it would know w what the futurere s , , and never taking into accout the potential percent emergencies that might oveverwhm them.. amy: and coupling that with h te fafact that soso many millions f people do not have health care. york, the population with the highest death rate right now, is the latinx population. you go to places like corunna, elmhurst, queens -- i mean, the concern of the number of people who are dying at home, hundreds of people, and when people are buried -- for example, in potter's field on hart island -- how often are the families contacted? do their families in other countries know what has happened? jersey, even new
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though your family is ill and i want to ask you how you're doing, your work of immimigrants who are dedesperate at thiss moment. it is notfirirmly belieieve enoughgh are radicicals and progogressives to justst rail against ththe situation. it is not just a question of the ineptness of the carter administration in n washington. sure, the e trump administstratn has a lotot to b blame, but this been b building for decades.s. for journalists like ourselves, it is not enough to simply expose these train of abuses. i ththink we also have to point the way to change to get people hope to promote grassroots efforts by everyday people. that is why have gotten involved here w with a thing calleled a mutual aid fund. it is a gofundme campaign to provide direct assistance to undocumented -- - the undocumend community, which is getting nothing. many of them work off the books. they don't qualify for stimulus. foror don't qualify
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unemployment assistance. they're basasically in n terror right now in theirir homes. many d don't have health ininsurance.e. theyey are afraid to go to the hospital. there are tens and tens of thousasands, notot just inin new jersey, but across the country, of immigrants who are really the most vulnerable. we h have been successful in jut a couple of days s of putting together a fununder. i urge others across t the couny in your own neighborhoods to do what you canan. don't dependnd on the prprivate sectoror or someme promisedd government assisistance program which may or may not materialize. we havee to pull togogether asah as we can with her own neighbors , the 99%9%, and supppport each other r and keep figighting to preserve and defend people in our local communities. amy: juan, how are you feeeeling persononally? jujuan: i am a little weak. my wife is in worse shape right now. concncern is my mother --
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basically, she's totally cut off. .he hahas no wayay of comommunig unfortunately, her cell phone died and wee have not been able to get her charger to her. even able to get a p phone calll into her and cononnect with the nurses stationon at the hospital -- bececause they are overerwhe. we understand that. if the hosospital experience was terrible for many people before this, now it is a a total nightmarare just to be able e to commununicate with your relativs who are hospitalized. , all the best to your wife and your mom and to you. i'm so glad you could join us today. in new jersey, by the way, just numbers, have over 8 million people -- almost half a million are undndocumented immigrants. this i is democracy now!,, the quarantine report. i'm amy goodman. back, we will be talking to a migrant worker in
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florida, in organizer in ohio. we will be going to arkansas where tyson foods is based and smithfield, the meat company, the pork coating that provides almost 5%, one factory of the pork to this country, more than three under 50 of the workers inside have tested positive and the plant has been closed down. what is happening with the migrant workers in this country? we will look at the food supply chain. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
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amy: "on the road again" willie nelson and his kids as part of, 2020. the concert has raised money for finely farm since 1995. this year's concert benefited firms impacted by covid-19. this is democracy now!,, the quarantine report. i'm amy goodman. gonzalez is in new jersey. as the coronavirus continues to
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sweep through the u.s. with more than half a million confirmed cases and at least 24,000 dead, the country's 2.5 million farmworkers are continuing to go to work every day, often facing crowded and unsanitary conditions without personal protective equipment for poverty wages. it is these farmworkers who are maintaining the food supply and keeping americans fed during the pandemic. despite this, the trump administration is working to slash the wages of migrant farmworkers. the plan, led by white house chief of staff mark meadows and agriculture secretary sonny perdue, would actually lower pay for sosome 250,00000 foreign g t laboborers, even though ththey'e bebeen declarered essential wor. h-2a2a visa holdlders make up pe 10% of u.s. farmworkers. meanwhile, from florida to california, farmworkers and their advocates are demanding better protections in the fields. united farm workers union is calling on agricultural
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players to increase sanitation for workers. this is a farmworker and oxnard, california. >> we are afraid to get sick because if someone in the family get sick, they say with one being affected, they can quarantine everybody and that is what we are afraid of because if that were to happen, what are we going to do? who is going to go out to work? amy: well, for more, we go to immokalee, florida, where we are joined by gerardo reyes s chave, a farmworker leadeder with the coalition of immokalee workers. as of this broadcast, more than 23,000 people have signed thee ciw's petition calling on florida governor ron desantis to protect farmworkers during the covid-19 crisis. the petition says -- "make no mistake: immokalee is like dry tinder in the path of a wildfire." gerardo reyes chavez, welcome back to democracy now! can you please describe the
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conditions that farmworkers in florida are facing and what you are demanding in response? havaving us, amy. these are no dououbt dire times for the entire wororld. as workers, we have been asking the local l government, , the se action and to take for the spread of covid-19 in our community. with deaf ears. people here in terms of government are not responding in anyththinge w way with that is going to help us be ready for this. there are cases of covid-19 that started to spread several days ago, more than a week ago. it was announced there were
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cases in our community. right now they said there are 13 cases as of yesterday. this is something that we are highly doubtful just because all of these cases happepened in a context in which t there weree o tetests availilable for o our commmmunity. so for us, this is hugely problematic because we have been seeing how in our community there hasn't been any real effort to try to help anyone. live in crowded spaces. many of the people that come to work in the fields are people who are living inside trailers with 5, 8, or 10 people, sometimes even more. we are expected to go do this
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work because our job has been deemed essential. but the people who are doing this jobob are trereated as expendable becauause no personal protective peak women has bebeen given, no tests have been made available. and that is one thing we have been asking. we sent a letter to governor ron desantis and started to petition that has been spearheaded by organizations, 180 orgaganizations s have signed id more than 23,000 people have signed it also. neededfor the resources to build a field hospital or repurpose a facility so that showe who started to symptoms of covid-19 can be treated. but so far, there hasn't been
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any concrerete response to this. we have also asked for the public resouources to be a allod for our community in this moment of crisis. nothing significant has been done. we continue to see how we are just seeing this catastrophe unfold in our c community with y kind of protection instead of offering us a solution to this justem, we are met with news of workers that are producing the food at the national level with these proposals of f current wages instead of -- juan: i want to ask you, in terms of the farmworkers, most americans are not aware that a significant portrtion of the farmworker labor are foreign
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workers under the h-2a program. could you talk about them and the situation as well? >> yeah. i mean, for farmwmworkers thahat have come here on the h-2a, there are more and more, actually, workers that arare working in different companies. jujust too g give you a sensnsee talking about this before, 90% of thehe t tomatoes and many of fruits a and vegetables that are consumed right now in the country, between november 2 may, are produced by peoplple like te people of immokalee. bes p production is so key to able to keep everyrything else functiononing. that is why our job has been deemed essential. we are a critical workforce. -- but we are not trtreated in ththat way. and jununet to may,
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depending on where you're working, many workers come from mexico m mainly to wowork in the fifields. there is a big part of workers here from guatetemala that arare here under polititical asylum ao workining in the fieields and fm haiti. combined, whwhere the labor fore making it possible for all off the food to movove up north, especicially now with the crisis needing all of these incredibly important resources right now. while at the same time, resourceces are being denenied y the federal government, , the state, local g government, for s toto be able t to be protectcte. we are talking about doingng ths essential job, we are goioing to if you'u'revery soon f not prototecting the workforce ththat you are deemiming as essesential.
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because we are. ,e are an esessential workforce independently of being here under h-2a or not can everyone needs to b be treated in the sae way. amy:y: as president trump aiaile stimulus package and the relief that is going out to some people, same trump meadows,ation -- mark the agriricultural secreretary y perdue, are pushing to cut the wages of h-2a workers. even if they are 10% of the workforce, won't that put a downward pressure on cutting all the wages, as they talk about saving the farmers? if you could talk about the effect this will have, them saying they're cutting the wages of people at the lowest end of the weight spectrurum? say the crisis in pressurere can bring -- - and
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pressure can bringng the b bestd thee worst. i think k the government is showowing us how they do not cae itut the people who make possible for every family. it is going to exacerbate the problems we've always had. hospitalhave a here in town. the closest is about 40 minutes away. we don't have transportation to go to a hospital, either. ininstead of building the infrasastructure t that is desperatelely needed t to r reso this crisis that is unfolding in front of our eyes, this is going to start very soon to show the dramatic effect of how a virus can spread in a community where you don't have the luxury of the social distancing, you don't have the ability to keep six
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feet away while doing this work, and you don't have the protection you need while being transported from your living quarters to the fields and back. and because of that, you are exposed. 24/7. when you think about that and the fact you don't have hospitals, the fact you don't have any kind of resources dedicated to you in a meaningful way -- one thing is to talk about itit, butut -- more we e only havave a few minutetes, but i i wanted to asu in termsms of what kind of suppt have thehe farmworkers beeeen gettining from other sectorsrs f thee floririda progresessive cocommunity? because it is s very importatano focus in on ways that pepeople n help each other. other than signing a petition, what are some concrete ways that you can get -- that other folks can a assist the efforts that y?
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are doing with the farmworkeker? amy: and the domains were making of the governor. do, ifthing people can you have the expertise and working in putting togogether field hospitals -- we recognize the government may not do anything in our community.y. we hope that they do -- we are asking the collier countnty government to step in and they saidid they haveve a plan, but y have not yet developed or shownn what that plplan is. so we are asking people to get in touch with us if you think there's a possibility i in which you cacan help usus with resours to be able to put together what is needed to respond to this as soon as possible. there are organizations that have signed under this. many are working and trying to
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see how w we can work togegethe. we would be happy to connect everyone, including the people from the county, to try to come up with a solution if that is at all possible. one thing that w we are asasking from t the g governor in the ler -- there are four main things we are asking. one, the construction of a field o oftal or the repurchasing anything that can serve to place intensive care units this people who neneed it. we also want the personal protective equipmement if we are can n spec -- expecteted to cone workers towork for be able to protetect themselvess muchch as possiblele. and accessiblee coronavirus testing for all of our community, not just those who show symptoms. because as we heard, there are
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nenews -- amy: we have 30 seconds. >> this plan closely bececause workers, most of the were sick. here we only hear about 13 cases becacause tests were not avavailable.e. funds arere necessary to be allolocated to support for the farmworkers instead of slashing their wages. that is what we need. we need people to help us push the government to do what is necessary. amy: gerardo reyes chavez, then confirming with us, farmworker leader with the coalition of immokalee workers. in a minute, we're going to bring monica ramirez into the conversation, president and founder of justice for migrant women, co-founder and president of the latinx house, and co-founder of the national farmworker women's alliance. first, i want to turn to more voices are farmworkers. strawberry field worker who wished to remain anonymous for fear of retaliatation. coronavirusus means
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regugular daily lifefe because i have to leave to go to worork. i have children in the house. sometimes s i'm afraid i will gt it. -- i will get sick. even with the coronavirus, i cacannot keep myself in quarante because i need to earn a living to support my family. amy: and this is a farmworker in the city of oxnard, california. >> we are worried about our health and everybody else's but i worry they may stop us from working because we live day by day. in ago we're joined right now by monica ramirez, president and founder of justice for migrant women, co-o-founder and d presit of the latinx house, a and a number of other titles including co-founder of the national farmworker women's alliance. talka, if you can specifically aboutut female farmworkerers and ththe challels they a are facing now?
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>> s sure. thank k you for havingng me on e shshow. one of the things were hearing from farmworker women is thatt ththey don't hahave chihildcare. many of ththem are havining to t their jobs, whichch means if the living inn a two i income household, the sellers have immediately been cut i in half. they are feeling extremely stressed o out about the fact ty don't have enough food toto feed their childreren. they often cannonot make it to places whehere they're doingng r delivery because they y don't he transporortation and having ince cut in h have has s come at huge cost to theieir families. there also concerned that if they have to -- if they're working and need to miss work for any reason to care for their children otherwisese, they wille fired and not have an opportunity to work at the farm again in the future. the other thing we are hearing from people is that their children are talking to them about being afraid to die. they are afraid they're going to get sick, that their parents are going to get sick, and they're
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asking a lot of questions. there a lot of anxiety and stress in addition to t the fact they donon'tt have e enough foor their own families and they'y're nonot making the money they y nd to s survive. monica, feel how w governor mimike dewine e has been onene e few republican governors who trumpf bucked president on how to deal with the coronavirus pandemic. i'm wondering whwhat your r sens ofof what the governor -- whethr the e governor has t taken into account t at all the plighght of farmwoworkers in ohio? thanks. i bebelieve the governor is a leader on this issue in t taking reallyly important steps to o ee the people in ohio are safe and healthy. as an orgaganization b based hen ohio, wewe a are in the procesef commmmunicating withth the gover on the steteps that need to be taken toto ensure that farmers have what they n need, to have e workforces they need, andnd t te workers are also protecteted in
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the meanantime. we d do belilieve the statete oo can't have the e kind of leaderership that is n needed fr the rerest of thee country t toe sure we have e the food w we neo eat, b but it is not a at the expense of the workers health were picking the food. amy: on sunday, with the new york times" ran an article titleded "into shelves farms put food to waste as tons of milk -- someththing like 750,000 eggs we smashed and produce being buried and dumped. on the one hand, you have this food being dumped and destroyed in o on the other r hand you h e hours long lines at food pantries at the e other end of e fofood supply chain. can we wrap up with thahat? >> i saw that article, too, and we've been hearing that farmers are going to have e to dump products in the first queststion i camemo mind is, i if the federal govevernment intendsds to help e agriculturalal industry because agricultural industry has so much neeeed -- as we've been
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hehearing president trump site d other say that they want t to me wee their helpingng farmers -- say ththen help the peopople whe going hungry because they are not working. healthy fafarmworkers whoo don't touch h healthy farmworkekers wo don't have e enough foodod to fd their fafamilies. i think the e government s shoue in serioious consideration off bubuying those productcts from e farmers grew having to dump the products because thehey can't sl ththem to ththe restaurants andd other places that order them were used to neeeed them because therere are foodod banks and ase have seen lines o of people who are waiting to get products -- i was in communicacation witith an outreach worker in florida last week and she t told me that 5000 farmworkers showed u up at a lol chchurch to get food and 300 farmworkers went home empty-y-handed. we have a a crisis inin which te isis an overproduction of food s they can get of the restaurants and other places that t used too buy them, , but we also have a crisis that there are people -- not just farmworkers -- around our country who are not sure wherere their next memeal is gog to c come from. it seems to me it would b be wie ofof the federeral government to
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make an agrereement with these farmers to buyuy the proroduce d the otother items t they're g go dumpmp so they can get ththose s to the families ththat need that food at this very moment. amy: monica ramirez, thank you for being with us president and founder of justice for migrant women, co-foununder and presidet of the latinx house, and co-founder of the national farmworker women's alliance. when we come back, we look at the spike of coronavirus infections at meatpacking plants. 350 workers at one pork plant in south dakota. it is almost half t the number f infections in the entire state of south dakota. stay with us. ♪ [musisic break]
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amy: "paper tiger" by beck. this is democracy now!,, the quarantine report. i'm amy goodman. we turn now to look at the spike in coronavirus infections at meatpacking plants. this week the world's biggest pork producer, smithfield foods, shut down a processing plant in siououx falls, south dakota, tht is responsible for 5% of u.s. pork production after more than workers at the facility tested 350 positive for covid-19 -- accounting f for nearly half of south dakota's reported
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infections. in pennsylvania, 130 wororkers tested posositive at a cargill meat solutions plant, and a union ststeward at thehe jbs bef slaughterhouse died lastst fridy of a coronavirus infection. deaths of slaughterhouse wororks have also been reported in georgia and colorado. many meat processing facilities employ large numbers of immigrants, including undocumented workers. in a few minutes, we will speak with an advocate for poultry plant workers. we begin with wenonah hauter, executive director and founder of food & water watch, and author of "foodopoly: the battle over the future of food and farming in america." welcome back to democracy now! if you can talk about the significance of what is happening, this pandemic exposing the fissures of society, the massive problems we have already, but the idea that in one plant, which they have now been forced to shut down, about 350 workers have tested positive? this is in south dakota where the governor, who is a
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republican governor, has refused to impose a shelter at home ordeder, but can you talalk abot the sisignificanance of this? >> this is more evidence that the meat industryy is nott concererned about publicic heal, not t concerned about workers, t just worried about theirir bottm line. these plplans should have been cleaned. some of them m should have been closed down. let's look at the onone in sioux falls. that plant is primaririly a facilility that produces pork fr exexport. so there's no reason that his plant had to remain open. it is impossible to do socialal distancing i in a meat plalant e this where workers h have to be shoulder t to shoulder cutting p carcasses. thed what we have s seen h his
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meat industrtry has just taken this o opportunity to lobby thtr allies in the trump administration t to get things that we have been able to keep them from m getting g in the pa. for instance, the consolidation thatat we have seen in the meat industry. ofr companieses control 80% beef production, control just under 70% of pork production, and around 60% of poultry production. they're not satatisfied with tht kind of concentration. they have now worked with the trump admininistration to get te department of justice and the agreel trade agency to that they would further weaken alreadyeviewsws and are -- in our already lax system for looking at antitrust violations.
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supposedly we have an economy based d on compepetition but ths absolutely not true, especially in the meat industry. and d they'rere also taking this privatizezeto push to meat inspection. they have already done this successfully in n the poultry industry w where it is now notible to have lines being 140 tickets a minute a as it usd toto be -- which was already too many -- but 175 birds per minute. now theyey're p pushing to prive swinee insnspection. hogs cannt law is 1100 withhughtered in an hour seven meat inspectors -- already way too fast. they are pushing to privatize so
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cap on linee no speed and there be only threree inspectors on the line, even ththough thatt means that ththee would be e no inspectctor seen a hog was disease. juan: if i cann interruptpt fora second, i want to ask you l lite bit momore in terms of ththe constant trend in food production toward factory farms as you say, concentrtration ofof labobor in these huge plants a d also the use o of immigrant labr for the most part. i am willing to bet the bulk of those workers att thehe smithfid in southth dakota are latinino d other immigrant workers, because that is been the trend in the industry as a whole. how all of this works together to make the situation even worse right now? pandemic ishis is the
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really the perfect storm of a cocompletely dysfufunctional fod system. yes, the workekers at slaughtetr be latino do tend to and low incocome workers. often, they are undocumented. and ifif they push for protecti, ifif they push foror a fair wag, the meat industry works with ice to c come in and support thosee workers. so it is a t terrible situation. we shohould also r remember tha- amy:y: we just havee 30 seconds. sorry. >> t the way we produce food has p pandemicscs like thisis begin in s situations whe animals are being produced living in ththeir own waste, breathing terriblee fumes t that gigive them viruses..
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a microbesy takes mutatation to cause b bacteriald viral diseases. we w will see e more pandemics e dodon't change the way we produe meat i in this country. we need to ban factory f farms d stop this terrible concentration that is really threatening our food system. amy: wenonah hauter, thank you for being with us executive , director and founder of food & water watch. close itsys it will be facility in greeley, colorado, through april 24th after a 30-year employee died of covid-19. more than 6000 people work at that facility. this is one of the workers, 57-year-old rosario bustamante. >> in the beginning, they did not make any changes. we continued working under the same conditions. no action was taken. they did not protect us,
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nothing. the only thing they did was provide hand sanitizer. we started seeing changes when people started getting infected. about people getting infected because our supervisor talk to us. that wasas monday, march 30, inn the afternoon. he told us, we don't want you close to people. you need to keep your distance because we just learned that the people that were taken from here tested positive to coronavirus. i went to work and i started feeling ill. they tooook me to an infirmary d they told me to go back to w wo. two guys frorom security overhed and they tell me, no, you can't go back to the plant. you need to go home. you have fever. that is when i left and i spent three days in bed with a high fever, body exposed up on friday, april 3, i would to see my doctor and he tell me not to worry that everything was fine that he recommended not going back to work. amy: for more in the conditions in meatpacking facilities during the pandemic, we're joined by magaly licolli, executive director of venceremos, an
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advocacy group for poultry plant workers. she is joining us from springdale, ararkansas, whwhichs home to tyson foods headquarters . in these last minutes that we have together, if you can talk about the scope of the problem at the poultry plant -- particularly in the midst of this pandemic -- who works there and what are you facing? >> thank you for inviting us. i think it is important to say that the proroblems thatat pouly workers are facing now are not new. however, the lack ofof benefitis are momore evident under this crisis. poultry workers do not have basic benefits.. so workers arere used t to go to work while sick. and now with this pandemic,c, woworkers are just terrified too to work. the lack of measurements of this company to take social preventng comment to the spread, is just not evivide.
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the workers arare risking their demandingd now they're that these companies provided them paid sick benefits for them home and not be at risking their income. righght now many of the companis are taking these measurements of checking the temperature. however, that is not what workers feelel comfortable with because once the worker shows symptoms of fever, it means that the worker had already been -- all of the workers have been exposed to the virus. so right now there is no transpararency of how many works are being tested posititive for covid-19, and the company is just on providing that information to workers. , what kindaly licolli of protective eququipment by the workrkers been provivided, if a? plants, now, the e tyson
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they do not have any masks or gloves. in other plants, the workers have to pay for masks or gloves. soso they are not t even being granted those basic protetective gear to do their work. amy: can you talk about the picking up of the pressure to raise the processing line speeds at tyson? >> yes. this issue -- workers have been battling this issue for so long. used tonow workers process 140,000 chickekens per minutete. that led to injuries for workers. areight now the workers more in n danger by the lightspd increaease. as well as the consumers. amy: we want to thank you for being with us and we will
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revisit this issue. magaly licolli executive , director of venceremos, an advocacy group for poultry plant workers. democracy now! is working with as few people onsite as possible. the majority of our amazing team is working from home. we
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♪ hello. welcome to nhk "newsline." i'm yamamoto miki in tokyo. we begin with news from the united states. president donald trump says his officials will consider cutting off funding for the world health organization at least temporarily over its handling


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