CEOs, Farm Bureau President Told To Remove Face Masks Before Meeting With Mike Pence

Adrian Ovalle

4 CEOs of food business and the president of the American Farm Bureau Federation were told to remove their face masks before a meeting in Iowa Friday with Vice President Mike Pence, a surprising video posted by The Intercept exposes.

Pence– likewise without a mask– appeared a brief time later on at the head office of the Hy-Vee grocery chain in West Des Moines for a roundtable conversation with the men in front of an audience.

Simply hours earlier Pence was notified that his press secretary, Katie Miller, had actually evaluated favorable for COVID-19 She and 6 others in Pence’s entourage with thought direct exposure to Miller were pulled from Pence’s flight to Iowa prior to launch. Since of his direct exposure to Miller, Pence’s office rejected news reports Sunday that he was self-isolating.

Video before the Hy-Vee roundtable shows an unknown female approaching 2 groups of the men, all using face masks. If she’s getting rid of a face mask, she can be seen speaking to them and simulating a gesture as. All of the men remove their masks. It isn’t clear who she was representing, however going face-mask complimentary is a trademark of the Trump administration.

The Centers for Illness Control and Avoidance advises using masks in groups. Pence and President Donald Trump have actually not complied with those standards in an obvious effort to make it appear that things are heading back to regular regardless of continuous cases of COVID-19

The audience viewing the Iowa roundtable practiced social distancing in the broad spacing of seating, however practically nobody used masks. Farming Secretary Sonny Perdue, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) and Republican Politician Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) all took part in the roundtable, however none used a mask.

A roundtable conversation hosted by @HyVee has actually begun. Vice President @Mike_Pence, @IAGovernor Kim Reynolds, @SecretarySonny Perdue, Sen. @ChuckGrassley and @SenJoniErnst are talking with farming and food supply leaders.

— Rachel DrozeTV (@RachelDrozeTV) May 8,2020

Pence took a trip to Iowa to hail the state’s “success story” in returning to business in the middle of the COVID-19 crisis. The Sioux City city location had the most cases per capita of any county in the country, according to an information analysis Sunday by The New York Times.

Iowa has actually likewise been having a hard time strongly with significant break outs of the illness amongst employees in 5 meatpacking plants in the state.

Previously this month, a mad constable blasted a “dysfunctional” Tyson Fresh Meats plant in Waterloo, where more than 1,000 employees, a 3rd of the labor force, have actually contracted COVID-19 A minimum of 3 employees have actually passed away.

The plant was closed down for 2 weeks however resumed Thursday in time for Pence’s go to after Trump signed an executive order stating meat processing plants important operations.

Since Sunday, there were close to 12,000 COVID-19 cases and 265 deaths in Iowa. The cases are still increasing, according to the state health department.

The men in the Pence roundtable who were advised to remove their masks were American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall, and CEOs Rodney McMullen of Kroger, Ron Cameron of Mountaire Farms, Ken Sullivan of Smithfield Foods and Noel White of Tyson.

Sullivan called employees at meatpacking plants “heroes” at the roundtable. An employee and a not-for-profit employees’ rights group last month submitted a federal claim versus a Missouri meat processing plant run by Smithfield, implicating the business of preserving hazardous conditions.

The meatpackers union stated in a declaration that Pence, Perdue, the senators and guv ought to have worked a shift at a processing plant to experience the hazardous conditions.

“They should work in the same conditions and under the same fear that our members and their fellow Iowans work under every day,” the United Food and Commercial Employees union stated in a declaration.

Tyson, Smithfield, Kroger, the American Farm Bureau Federation, and Pence did not react to ask for comment from HuffPost about the eliminated face masks.

Here’s the whole roundtable after Pence got here:

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