Nearly half of California’s congressional representatives signed a letter on Tuesday to Vice President Mike Pence, who heads the White House Coronavirus Task Force. The bipartisan group asked for help in securing N95 masks for farmers and farmworkers performing their jobs in unhealthy air quality due to wildfire smoke.
“Given the ongoing pandemic, securing N95 masks has been near impossible for employers,” said Republican Rep. Doug LaMalfa of Northern California.
The letter notes the state requirement to supply workers with N95 masks when intense wildfire smoke is present. The lawmakers add that agricultural workers have endured extreme heat and living conditions that have left them vulnerable during the pandemic.
Interested in more coverage and insights? Receive a free month of Agri-Pulse West.
“That’s why we must take every step possible to protect those workers and provide them with the necessary protective gear,” said Rep. Jimmy Panetta of the Central Coast.