In the United States, the coronavirus is a public health and economic crisis. Governments and business owners seem more concerned with financial obligations than health in many parts of the country. The meat industry specifically has been hit hard by the coronavirus and is one of many industries seemingly putting economic value above human life.

Now, new information reported by the Guardian shows a disturbing trend in North Carolina where officials haven’t released information on coronavirus cases or links back to meat processing plants. Case Farms, in North Carolina, has multiple employees test positive and was not providing applicable protective equipment for employees. One worker shared on a union call, “I’m afraid to go to work, but I have to go.”

Health departments in Burke County, where Case Farms is located, reported 136 new cases but did not disclose if those cases were connected to Case Farms. Earlier testing at the facility had turned up 150 new cases. The county said it had data on where the cases came from but were choosing not to release the information.

“Why, when a nursing home has an outbreak, it’s in the paper, but when a meatpacking facility does, it’s not?” Mac Legerton, a longtime grassroots policy advocate and co-director of the Robeson County Cooperative for Sustainable Development, told the Guardian. “The law needs to be that in a pandemic all outbreaks at public and private facilities are made public to protect the employees of the institutions and to inform the public.”

But companies concerned with public image and grocery store sales see no reason to share details of cases or information on tracing. Elizabeth Warren and Cory Booker recently sent a joint letter to multiple companies urging them to disclose details on infection rates and supply chain changes during the pandemic.

Read more about the meat industry and the coronavirus, check out these articles:

This is a good time to reconsider our intake of animal products to stay healthy. Eating more plant-based foods is known to help with chronic inflammation, heart health, mental wellbeing, fitness goals, nutritional needs, allergies, gut health, and more! Dairy consumption also has been linked to many health problems, including acne, hormonal imbalance, cancer,prostate cancer and has many side effects.

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