Farmworkers are now deemed essential. But are they protected?


    This story is a collaboration between The World and Reveal from the Center for Investigative Reporting. Listen to the  latest episode of Reveal  for more on this story. On a recent morning in Salinas, California, in the state’s rural heartland, David Rivera and Alfonso Hernández worked shoulder to shoulder, installing irrigation pipes across freshly plowed fields that stretched to the horizon. Wearing jeans and sweatshirts with their hoods up to block the sun and dust, they prepared the fields for a spring planting of spinach, lettuce and broccoli.  Nearby, a large billboard featured a man wearing leather gloves and a white cowboy hat, an irrigation pipe hoisted over his shoulder. It read: “Salinas Valley. Feeding Our Nation.” More:  A version of this story originally aired on The World. Listen here.   It was mid-March, the same week that US President Donald Trump declared a national emergency because of the novel coronavirus. By then, over 250 people had tested positive for COVID-19


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