Is Trump Responsible for the Romaine E. Coli Outbreak?

Is Trump Responsible for the Romaine E. Coli Outbreak?

Sarah Boudreau

Most of you have probably heard about the E. coli outbreak in Romaine lettuce that over the past few weeks has been making people sick all across America, but what you most likely haven’t heard is that some people are blaming President Donald Trump for this outbreak. So if you were furious about the lack of caesar salad at your Thanksgiving day table, you might have someone to blame now.

Although you most likely know about the outbreak, you may not know how it happened. E. coli spread through multiple sources, but is mostly spread through infected water. The water often gets infected by running through “raw or improperly composted manure, irrigation water containing untreated sewage or manure, and contaminated wash water.” After being in contact with one or more of those substances, the water is contaminated. If this water is not tested and is used to water crops, those crops are also infected and at high risk of carrying the E. coli virus.

Back when Barack Obama was president, he had a clean water regulation that made sure waters were tested and “​limited the use of pollutants like chemical fertilizers that could run off into small streams” keeping the waters safe to use for growing foods. Since Trump has come into office, he has decided that Obama’s water regulation was not efficient enough and removed it while planning his own that would not go into action for a couple more years. Due to removing this rule, the waters were not properly regulated and the romaine grown in California’s Salinas Valley was infected with the E. coli virus.

Even though many people believe that Trump is the reason E. coli has gotten into the romaine lettuce, it can not be proven that this is the case. It could have been a freak accident, because E. coli did surface shortly before Trump was even president. As much as people love finding someone to accuse for their misfortunes, there are more pressing matters at hand, such as making sure the people who have caught the E. coli virus are recovering, and finding a way to make sure this doesn’t happen again.

This outbreak is a tragic event, and it is hoped that in the future something like this can be stopped before it happens. And if you blame Trump or not, just pray that his version of a water regulation will be the thing needed to prevent any more E. coli outbreaks.