Some Waffle Houses are reopening. The death of man who ingested fish tank cleaner now being investigated by Homicide detectives. Wuhan lab ‘most likely’ coronavirus source. Pfizer says vaccine could be ready by fall.
Today’s update will start with some food-related items.
This past Sunday, Tyson Foods ran a full-page advertisement in the New York Times and other newspapers describing the challenges of producing meat while keeping more than 100,000 workers safe and shutting some plants.
Meat isn’t going to disappear from supermarkets because of outbreaks of the coronavirus among workers at U.S. slaughterhouses, but as the meat plants struggle to remain open, consumers could face less selection and slightly higher prices.
Industry leaders acknowledge that the U.S. food chain has rarely been so stressed and that no one is sure about the future, even as they try to dispel concerns about shortages.
Now, President Donald Trump has taken executive action under the Defense Production Act and ordered meat processing plants to remain open.
The order uses the Defense Production Act to classify meat processing as critical infrastructure to try to prevent a shortage of chicken, pork and other meat on supermarket shelves…
…A senior White House official said the administration was trying to prevent a situation in which a “vast majority” of the nation’s meat processing plants might have temporarily closed operations, reducing the availability of meat in supermarkets by as much as 80%.
The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the order before its release, said the White House was also working with the Labor Department to provide enhanced safety guidance for meatpacking workers. That will include trying to minimize the risk to workers who may be prone to serious complications from the virus, including strongly recommending those over the age of 65 and with preexisting conditions stay home.
The order, which was developed in consultation with industry leaders including Tyson and Smithfield, is designed, in part, to provide companies with additional liability protections in case workers get sick.
Some Waffle Houses are reopening for dine-in
There is an adage that the nation’s Waffle Houses are the last businesses to close during natural disasters. So it seems like a good sign that the “Summer of Recovery” is poised to begin, as the restaurants are reopening for dine-in patrons.
The Georgia-based diner chain resumed dine-in service at many of its 400 restaurants in the state on Monday. A spokesperson for Waffle House, Njeri Boss, told The Associated Press that 330 of the restaurant locations across Georgia had remained open for takeout during the lockdown.
As part of the loosening restrictions on non-essential businesses, restaurants must abide by a 39-requirement list issued by Georgia Governor Brian Kemp. Among them, employees are required to wear masks and customers must be limited to 10 people per 500 square feet, to ensure social distancing.
Police Investigating Death of Arizona Man From Fish Tank Cleaner
Legal Insurrection readers will recall that about a month ago, an Arizona couple ingested fish tank cleaner. After the husband died, the wife claimed they were inspired to take it based on President Trump’s comments related to chloroquine treatment for coronavirus.
The Mesa City Police Department’s homicide division is investigating the death of Gary Lenius, the Arizona man whose wife served him soda mixed with fish tank cleaner in what she claimed was a bid to fend off the coronavirus. A detective handling the case confirmed the investigation to the Washington Free Beacon on Tuesday after requesting a recording of the Free Beacon’s interviews with Lenius’s wife, Wanda.
…Detective Teresa Van Galder, the homicide detective handling the case for the Mesa City Police Department, confirmed that the investigation is ongoing but declined to provide additional details.
“As this is an active investigation, I cannot go into any details at this time regarding the case,” Van Galder said.
Wuhan lab ‘most likely’ coronavirus source, U.S. government analysis finds
The more China tries to hide, the more evident it is that the nation has something quite disturbing to hide.
A Wuhan laboratory is the “most likely” source of the COVID-19 outbreak now ravaging the globe, according to a U.S. government analysis that catalogs the evidence and concludes that other explanations for the origin of the coronavirus are less credible.
The document, compiled from open sources and not a finished product, says there is no smoking gun to blame the virus on either the Wuhan Institute of Virology or the Wuhan branch of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, both located in the city where the first outbreaks were reported.
But “there is circumstantial evidence to suggest such may be the case,” the paper says.
“All other possible places of the virus’s origin have been proven to be highly unlikely,” the document concludes. A copy of the report, compiled this month, was obtained by The Washington Times.
Pfizer Says Coronavirus Vaccine Could Be Ready by Fall
As many public health experts are worried about a return of significant numbers of Wuhan Coronavirus infections in the fall, Pfizer’s new vaccine could be a critical component of the response.
Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer said Tuesday that it will begin testing its coronavirus vaccine in the United States as soon as next week, The Wall Street Journal reports. With testing already started in Germany, the company predicts it may produce a viable drug for emergency use by the fall of 2020.
Research into a COVID-19 preventive drug, which many experts originally predicted would last well into next year, has sped up in recent weeks, with Oxford researchers making similar claims to Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson expecting human testing by September, and biotechnology firm Moderna entering the second phase of human testing of its vaccine.
North Carolina pug becomes first US dog to test positive for coronavirus
The good news: The dog is fine!
A North Carolina pug became the first dog in the country to test positive for the coronavirus, a report said on Monday.
Winston, who belongs to a family in Chapel Hill, was tested as part of a study at Duke University after his caretakers fell ill with the virus, according to North Carolina’s WRAL-TV.
Dr. Chris Woods, the head of the Duke study, told the outlet he believes it’s the first known positive canine case in the country.
The owner of the dog, Heather McLean, said Winston was coughing and sneezing — and one day didn’t even want to eat breakfast.
“And if you know pugs you know they love to eat,” she said. “So that seemed very unusual.”
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