Ken Klippenstein, reporter for The Nation spoke with America’s Work Force on April 16 to discuss his article “The Military Knew Years Ago That a Coronavirus Was Coming”.
In his recently published article, Klippenstein claims that in 2017, the United States Military had knowledge of a respiratory virus that would affect the U.S. in the near future. He stated that the Pentagon was working on plans to put in place to counter a major virus. The plan stated that “the most likely and significant threat is a novel respiratory disease, particularly a novel influenza disease.” These plans included logistics of how to get masks, gloves, ventilators, respirators and other items to hospitals. Klippenstein said that the claim made by President Trump that this pandemic was “unforeseen” and “came out of nowhere” is a lie and the plans drawn up on how to deal with a novel respiratory virus, were ignored.
Pat Gallagher with the North Coast Area Labor Federation and the United Steelworkers spoke about blue collar workers continuing to work during the pandemic. He discussed how auto plants are being affected; with no one buying vehicles, there is no need to keep producing them. Gallagher spoke about plans to open up closed auto plants, like the Lordstown Assembly plant, to begin producing ventilators. He mentioned that those who are still working are closely following safety precautions by using personal protective equipment and keeping a safe distance from each other. Gallagher predicted that once the shutdown ends, people will still be required to practice safe distancing from others in public until a cure is found for the virus.
AWF host Ed “Flash” Ferenc spoke about the stimulus package and areas where it could be improved upon.
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