Apr 7, 2020

Axios PM

Good afternoon: Today's PM — edited by Justin Green — is 405 words, a 2-minute read.

Situational awareness: Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly resigned today after apologizing for comments he made about Capt. Brett Crozier. Go deeper.

1 big thing: America's food heroes

Photos: Charlie Riedel/AP (L); Brent Stirton/Getty Images

The people who grow, process and keep food stocked on shelves are doing heroic work in these conditions, often for bottom-barrel pay.

Why it matters: Millions of Americans don't have the luxury of working from home, and it's essential that food workers keep working so we can keep eating.

  • Undocumented immigrants are a big share of America's farm labor workforce, particularly for fruits and vegetables.
  • They often work and live in conditions that make social distancing difficult, and they rarely have good health care access or paid sick leave. They are also ineligible for the bailout protections that recently passed.
  • “You can’t pick strawberries over Zoom," Lucas Zucker, a workers' advocate, told the L.A. Times.

In the food processing world:

  • Grand Island, Nebraska: 10 workers have tested positive at a beef packing plant. (Grand Island Independent)
  • Columbus Junction, Iowa: Hog slaughterhouse closed after 24 workers tested positive. (Reuters)
  • Pennsylvania: Empire Kosher Poultry, the biggest kosher chicken supplier in America, temporarily closed after some workers tested positive. (WSJ)
  • Moultrie, Georgia: Sanderson Farms, a chicken company, reduced its staffing as a precautionary move. (WSJ)

And at grocery stores: At least four workers nationwide have died from the virus, NBC News reports.

  • Customers often fail to keep 6 feet of distance and often don't wear gloves and masks, one grocery store worker told the AP.
  • “Most of us are terrified,” he said.

The bottom line: “I know that we are doing important work that is feeding the rest of the country," one worker told BuzzFeed News.

  • "We are essential workers that this country needs."

Special report: Health care workers vs. the coronavirus

Bonus: Pic du jour
Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

An aerial view from a drone shows voters waiting in line to enter a polling place at Riverside University High School today in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

  • Voters waited in line about two hours at the school, one of the few polling places open in the city after most were consolidated due to a shortage of poll workers fearful of contracting the coronavirus.
  • More pics
2. Catch up quick
  1. Trump admin latest: Trump removes watchdog overseeing rollout of $2 trillion coronavirus bill.
  2. Federal government latest: Senate looks to increase coronavirus relief for small businesses this week.
  3. World update: China reopens Wuhan after 10-week coronavirus lockdown.
  4. Environment latest: Coronavirus patients in more polluted parts of the U.S. are more likely to die from the illness than those in cleaner areas.
3. 1 helpful thing
Photo: Brad Barket/Invision/AP, File

Bruce Springsteen and Andrea Bocelli each plan to reach their fans with music — The Boss as a guest DJ and the tenor with a live performance.

  • Bocelli will perform Easter Sunday on a livestream from the main historic cathedral in Milan, Italy.
  • Springsteen will appear on SiriusXM’s E Street Radio tomorrow at 10 a.m. ET.