The Times Magazine had a good profile a couple of weeks ago on a kid maimed in a meatpacking plant. Read it if you haven’t.
After he finished hosing down the machines, he started scrubbing blood and fat off the steel parts with chemicals that, if they hit skin, created welts that could take months to heal. Shortly after 2:30 a.m., he thought he saw a bit of torn rubber glove within the conveyor belt of the deboning area and reached in to grab it. Suddenly, the machine came to life. Across the factory, another worker had failed to see Marcos crouched with his left arm deep inside the assembly line and turned it on.
The belt caught the sleeve of Marcos’s baggy jacket and pulled him across the floor. Hard plastic teeth ripped through his muscles, tearing open his forearm down to the bone. By the time someone heard his screams and shut off the power, his arm was limp, a deep triangular gash running down the length of it. A rope of white tendons hung from his elbow to his wrist, horrifying the workers who gathered around him. He understood from their faces that something was badly wrong but didn’t feel any pain as the wound began gushing blood and he started to lose consciousness.
A supervisor called 911 to report the injury. “We don’t know what to do,” she said, her voice rising. “It’s bleeding out.” The dispatcher ran through a list of questions about his condition. “And how old is that person?” the dispatcher asked.
The supervisor did not respond.
“Even if you had to guess?” he asked.
Still no response.
“Like, 20s? 30s?” he asked.
“Um,” the supervisor said, her voice shaking.
Another moment passed, and the line went dead.
When the paramedics arrived, a dispatcher reported “massive amounts of bleeding,” and Marcos was flown to a trauma unit in Baltimore for emergency surgery. He lay in the hospital for two weeks as medical staff wondered why the paperwork for this boy with long eyelashes and a round baby face said he was an adult man named Francisco.
This is the present Republicans want. But it is also worth noting that these problems have existed for years and it’s not like Democrats have paid any attention to it either.