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Covid-19 Breaks Out In A Pork Factory Owned By Chinese Owners In US

Smithfield Foods, the world's largest producer and processor of pork, became the largest outbreak of Covid-19 in the United States. Few people know that the owner of this company, billionaire Van Long (Wan Long) is a person with close ties with the Chinese government.

Recently, Smithfield Foods had to close factories in three states in the US after a series of cases of Wuhan virus infection at its factory in Sioux Falls, South Dakota state of the plant.

Specifically, after the first patient was discovered at the Smithfield Foods manufacturing facility in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, on March 26, the facility quickly became the epicenter of the virus outbreak.

According to statistics from the South Dakota Department of Health, more than 518 employees at the facility were found positive for the virus on April 15, while 126 non-Smithfield employees were infected after interacting with these employees.

The Epoch Times quoted three unnamed employees as saying one month before the first case of the Wuhan virus was confirmed at the facility, a representative from Smithfield's parent company in China visited.

In addition, two unnamed employees told The Epoch Times that the CEO of WH Group, Chinese meat and food processing company - the parent company of Smithfield Foods, often visited the facility.

Initially, Smithfield Foods was an American business, but was acquired by a Chinese company called WH Group in 2013. This is considered the largest acquisition by a Chinese company for a business. US business at the time. The deal made WH Group, then called Shuanghui International - the world's largest pork producer.

According to The Epoch Times, the owner of WH Group, Mr. Wan Long, is a member of the National People's Congress, the legislature of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). According to the Wall Street Journal, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang widened the way for Mr. Wan Long to dominate the pork market in the country.

Also the CEO of WH Group, Mr. Van Long started his career at a meat processing factory in Thap Ha, Ha Nam, China. After climbing to the top of the ranks, at the time of equitization, he bought the company from the government in 2006 for $ 326 million. 

A co-founder of this company is Wen Yun Tung (Winston Wen), son of former CCP leader Wen Jiabao. Wen Yun Tung invested in the company and sometimes held a 4% stake, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Earlier, in 2019, when the African swine fever epidemic hit China, Smithfield shifted production at least one factory in the United States to the direction of supplying meat only to the Chinese market. The company did so despite knowing that the move could create a pork shortage in the United States by 2020. 

Smithfield's materials purchasing director, Arnold Silver, once spoke at an industry conference at the end in 2019 that sales to China will likely create a shortage of bacon and ham for US consumers.

Although Smithfield's Sioux Falls plant is not the only US meat processing facility that has workers infected with COVID-19, the scale of the outbreak here is the worst. Other firms, including Sanderson Farms, the third largest poultry producer in the United States, reported 15 cases positive for Wuhan virus in early April. 

Tyson Foods, the world's second-largest maker and marketer for chicken, beef and pork, reported on April 14 positive cases at one of its factories in Washington. Maple Leaf Food, Cargill, West Liberty Foods and JBS also had to close several factories after employees or local residents were confirmed to have COVID-19.

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