UPDATE: Lack of Local Leadership has caused the Smithfield outbreak to be much worse

UPDATE: Governor Noem just announced Paul and her are asking for a 14 day closure and pay the workers during this time period. And how are they proposing this to Smithfield? In a letter.

COPY OF LETTER HERE

A letter doesn’t mean squat. They have the power to use the state and city health departments to force a closure LEGALLY!

If they don’t want to pay the workers, they can collect unemployment. Why is it so hard for these people to figure this out?! Letters and stern requests don’t hold up in court and don’t mean a pile of hog crap.

Noem was asked by Bob Mercer, what would happen if they reject the letter. Noem said they will take ‘further action’. Which means they will do nothing.

Another reporter asked if the State would be financially supporting the workers if Smithfield decides not to. She smugly said ‘NO’. What great Christian values a day before Easter.

Paul said the letter was ‘stiffer’. Stiffer than what? A wet paper bag?

PTH keeps pushing this idea, that he kind of vaguely revealed came from Smithfield management, that the employees have been spreading this virus amongst themselves outside of the plant. Sure, if all the employees lived in barracks together. They don’t. We know this is being spread at the workplace in close working conditions. I’m not a scientist, but I think I know how viruses are transmitted easily. To keep pushing this, now twice, is irresponsible. Knock it off!

Paul was asked the same question about if they rejected the letter. He said he hopes they do and brings up that they cannot in a Democracy legally shut them down. They can, this is poppycock.

Todd Epp asks if Smithfield has been a good corporate partner by not being transparent. Paul goes into a rant about how this is the Union’s duty to protect the workers. Hey Paul, they have been trying for weeks, and you have done nothing.

Epp also asked why isn’t Smithfield at these press conferences being transparent? I will answer that question. It is NOT in their best interest.

The hospitals clarified you cannot get a test unless you have a doctor’s order. WTF!!!!!!! Trump has said anyone can get a test. Really?

Paul went into a strange rant about how if someone has Covid, authorities have the power to make them quarantine, but somehow they don’t have the power to close businesses. Huh? That makes no sense at all. If you legally force individual people to stay home, you can legally shut down businesses. In fact I would argue, individuals have more constitutional rights than privately owned companies, especially ones owned by foreign communists.

BTW, no one was wearing masks at the presser.

Another reporter asks when they expect to hear an answer from Smithfield. I guess I would have gave them a call instead of sending a ‘letter’. And PTH says he didn’t talk to the CEO of Smithfield’s today. Huh?

I think that closing the plant for 3 days is some kind of sick joke (no pun intended). The plant not only needs to close indefinately until the virus passes, it needs to pay all of it’s employees during that time period and cover all medical expenses associated with covid treatment and care.

As you can see from this story, workers have been begging anyone who would listen that there needed to be an intervention at the plant;

Weeks before the announcement that Smithfield foods had become a coronavirus hot spot, employees were asking for more protection during the pandemic. Kooper Caraway is the President of the Sioux Falls AFLCIO.

“Secondary screening for folks with elevated temperatures, staggered lunch schedule, practicing social distancing on different shifts, and whatnot. The workers and their local union leadership have been pushing for these things for a month and it hasn’t been until the last week since management has started to implement these things,” said Caraway.

South Dakota Voices for Peace Attorney Taneeza Islam says most employees don’t see an option to walk away.

“They live paycheck to paycheck. If they quit or walk out they are not eligible for unemployment assistance, and that’s really what the choice is, right? Do I feed my family, or do I expose myself to COVID and then go home and expose my family to COVID,” said Islam.

As you can see, people have been trying to mitigate a pending crisis. Where was our governor and mayor? They have argued that Homeland Security has classified them as ‘essential’ but we all know, that Noem and Thune have a direct line to the president’s desk and could have closed the plant weeks ago or at the very least make them (and other manufacturers in SF) to implement strict safety precautions outlined by the CDC and Union reps.

We heard the strange Trumpian/Libertarian arguments from the Governor’s office, including at one point calling out the ‘fake news’ to where Kelo Radio reporter Todd Epp lashed back.

This mess (which will soon spread to other manufactures and families throughout our city) shows the utter lack of leadership on a local level, something I have warned about for the last month.

Mayor TenHaken could have made a directive to have the health department go around to these businesses and implement strict guidelines, but instead he decided to tweet about people having a few beers at The Barrel House. He could have also begged the Governor to contact the president and Homeland Security to intervene. In this video, Paul even suggested that the spread may have happened outside of the plant, WHAT!

Friday, April 10 COVID Update

An important updates on COVID, Smithfield Foods, the rate of spread, and what I need from you.Side note: As an important part of the nation’s food security, the federal government has designated Smithfield as an essential infrastructure workplace. As such, the City is not in a position to mandate certain actions to Smithfield and other essential employers such as suspension of operations.

Posted by Paul TenHaken on Friday, April 10, 2020

The governor could have intervened also with strict guidelines or could have called the president and Thune to intervene. Instead, Thune faked covid so he could get out of voting on the stimulus bill (that’s the rumor going around) and has done nothing to protect South Dakotans, but that’s normal for him, the biggest do nothing senator in the history of the state.

But what makes this even more egregious is that we are allowing a company owned by Chinese investors from a communist nation tell our government what they are going to do. The irony is that Noem has argued putting in a directive to stay at home would look communist, all the while communists are running the show. I know, if it weren’t tragic it would be laughable.

I’m asking everyone to boycott pork products until the crisis is over. Sorry, but bacon isn’t an essential to the security and safety of our country. Unfortunately our local elected leaders are proving they are the real threat to our safety and security.



23 comments ↓

#1 "Very Stable Genius" on 04.11.20 at 12:07 pm

This is what happens when you elect attractive soap opera actors and actresses to be your political leaders.

#2 "Woodstock" on 04.11.20 at 12:10 pm

“‘Red Lines,’ a ‘Red Mayor,’ and now the commies are running our pork plants and our virus response”… “I told you this state is nothing but a twisted corporatist/commie reality”…..

#3 Fear & Loathing in Sioux Falls on 04.11.20 at 12:15 pm

Maybe AirPods could help.

#4 "I'm In the Driver's Seat" on 04.11.20 at 12:34 pm

And, therein, lies the problem, Paul Ten Haken.

Its been one excuse after another….

This is not what leadership looks like.

#5 scott on 04.11.20 at 12:36 pm

86 new cases in minnehaha county vs 3 new cases in woodbury county. and a total of 8 cases in pennington county since the beginning. those are the numbers, not a political statement. what are they doing differently than sioux falls?

#6 Rich on 04.11.20 at 1:48 pm

“Where was our governor and mayor?”

Having temper tantrums during press conferences by blaming the media for not reporting all the facts or whining that people are taking cheap shots for a person wears, etc. It’s the responsibility of TenHaken and Noem to disseminate all the facts and information. Blaming the media is always the easiest way out of taking ownership of a problem. The mayor didn’t want to name the business with the highest number of COIVD cases. To her credit, Noem did. I thank her for that.

#7 Hog confinement on 04.11.20 at 2:23 pm

AirPods and a ’48 Buick Roadmaster convertible: “I am an excellent driver.”

#8 "Very Stable Genius" on 04.11.20 at 3:54 pm

“One Sioux Falls” now means we are all quarantined together, taupe or not.

#9 A Historical Moment on 04.11.20 at 4:01 pm

“The Sioux Fallsian Flu, which was also dubbed the ‘Seney Flu,’ and the ‘Bunker Ramp Flu,’ was a mutated form of the COVID-19 virus caused by the mixing of the already established Swine Flu with the COVID-19 virus. This Sioux Fallsian Flu first came into being at a local meatpacking plant in Sioux Falls, South Dakota one month after the COVID-19 outbreak began in the United States in March of 2020; where then this virus/flu began to spread rapidly for no ‘transparent’ reason.”

#10 Fear & Loathing in Sioux Falls on 04.11.20 at 4:12 pm

Just think. Many people for the first time are just sitting at home and not going to work in Sioux Falls and staring out their windows and realizing for the first time that all of the houses in their neighborhood are painted taupe….. #WhatTheHell?

#11 Hogwash on 04.11.20 at 5:06 pm

So, on a Thursday there’s a “heated” call, then on Saturday you nicely write to them to close their plant for 14 days. In most challenged relationships, this strategy does not work.

#12 The Guy from Guernsey on 04.11.20 at 5:44 pm

Results reported on Saturday, Apr 11:
State of Minnesota – 91 new comfirmed cases of COVID-19. The entire state!
State of South Dakota – 90 new confirmed cases of COVID-19.
Minnehaha County SD – 86 new confirned cases of CIVID-19.

Madam Governor, Mr Mayor – the horse has already left the barn. A bit late to “suggest” that the barn door be closed.

#13 Scott D Hudson on 04.11.20 at 6:13 pm

I would like somebody to compile a “shopping list” of non-Smithfield meat products in our stores so I can make sure I never support these assholes again.

#14 Paul Abourezk on 04.11.20 at 6:57 pm

I live in Pennington County (Rapid City) we are not doing anything different here point of fact there are many businesses still open walmart is packed on EBT day. We have just been lucky thus far. Out west here we are an 1880 train steaming headlong for a precipice.

#15 A member of the underpaid, furloughed, soon to be evicted society of confinement on 04.11.20 at 7:26 pm

WWJD? (Janklow)

#16 The Guy From Guernsey on 04.11.20 at 7:55 pm

From your original post and the Dakota News Now report, that which struck me is that every element of structuring a workplace and organizing work activities so as to minimize spread and transmission of disease were listed, in specific form, by the union leadership.
The best detail provided by our State Department of Health is that they “are working very closely with Smithfield”. *
Until such time as those in the State Department of Health start proving otherwise with their decisions and actions, I am inclined to think that union leadership has better disease and epidemiology chops than the Department of Health.

* But today we did learn that the State Dept of Health does have available an app!

#17 D@ily Spin on 04.11.20 at 8:50 pm

This is much bigger than Smithfield. Why is it that the Soviet Union has few Covid cases and no deaths? Is this biological warfare? Was it they and they already have a vaccine? Why did it start in China but suddenly it’s more serious in the US? What is the best way to take down big government? Answer, financially. This is Nine Eleven on steroids. With Easter religious restrictions, it’s another Bolshevik Revolution circa 1917. Will WW3 be the US, China, and others allied against Russia? Lately, Russia has disrupted the world economy by dropping oil to historic lows. Oil is a third of US economy. With no travel and closed business, it’s more like half. I’m not the God type but God I hope I’m wrong.

#18 CELTIC6 on 04.11.20 at 9:05 pm

Mayor ten and the cowboy girl evidently can not get things done in the city its time for new leadership. As they are putting profits, and hogs over people.

#19 Celtic6 on 04.11.20 at 9:07 pm

Can we do better than the Gov and the mayor ten.

#20 Celtic6 on 04.11.20 at 9:11 pm

Is this not a danger from the drivers seat of mayor ten to make it dangerous for all the people who live here .The Governor is very very weak on this . we need new leaders.

#21 "Very Stable Genius" on 04.12.20 at 10:05 am

Intentionally or not, she is having us all ride it like a cowgirl.

( and Woodstock adds: “Yah, and do you remember when she first ran for Congress and she said in a campaign ad she was going to fix the federal deficit, while playing a game of Monopoly with her kids?”….)

#22 Stand back on 04.12.20 at 7:38 pm

Clear!

#23 james on 04.13.20 at 1:19 am

However, from another perspective:
Representative of the livestock association, representing cattle and pigs, issued a statement today. I was a short statement “yeah what a shame.”
He could not be reached for further comment