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Business Roundtable Letter to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on List of “Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers”

Mar 24, 2020

Dear Acting Secretary Wolf and Director Krebs:

On behalf of the CEO members of Business Roundtable who lead companies with, collectively, over 15 million employees, we appreciate the effort undertaken by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) to develop an initial list of “Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers.” We support your goal of ensuring continuity of functions critical to public health and safety and economic and national security amid an unprecedented health crisis.

Identifying a comprehensive list of workers who conduct a range of operations and services essential to continued critical infrastructure viability and considering the industries they support is no easy task. Many of our members are involved in these critical support functions including providing food and medicine, healthcare services and supplies, financial and banking services, critical telecommunication and technology services, and power for American homes and businesses. Others are engaged in activities that directly support these critical functions. Ultimately, we join you in supporting the dual objectives of containing the spread of COVID-19 and ensuring business continuity for essential services, products and supply chains.

To that end, Business Roundtable has undertaken a thorough review of the “Guidance on the Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce: Ensuring Community (Version 1.1).” Attached, please find our recommended amendments to that list. In most cases, we have added language intended to clarify what we believe was your original intent in a way we hope will enable essential interstate commerce and supply chains to function.

Our recommended edits are based on two assumptions. The first is that we must encourage workers to utilize remote capabilities wherever possible to limit movement to slow the spread of the virus – and ensure that those who do go to the workplace follow appropriate health protocols. The second is that this list is designed with the immediate term in mind. Should the public health crisis last longer than 8-10 weeks, significant adjustment would be needed.

As state and local public health officials implement varying, and sometimes conflicting, limitations on business-critical operations and essential consumer functions, the guidance you provide to state and local authorities will be essential to ensuring critical infrastructure, services, products, and supply chains continue to meet Americans needs. Given how much of these goods and services move across state borders, we are urging states and localities to adopt your list as a common nationwide understanding.

If we can provide further background to you or your team on how we developed our proposed edits to the CISA list, we would be very happy to speak with you or the appropriate official can speak with Matt Sonnesyn, Vice President at Business Roundtable (msonnesyn@brt.org or 202-294-2308).

Many thanks for your consideration.

Sincerely,

David S. Taylor

Chairman of the Board, President and CEO

The Procter & Gamble Company

Co-Chair, Business Roundtable COVID-19 Task Force Project on Essential Services, Products, and Supply Chains


Michael K. Wirth

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

Chevron Corporation

Co-Chair, Business Roundtable COVID-19 Task Force Project on Essential Services, Products, and Supply Chains