Surge in Coronavirus Cases
Internal Employee News Publication
To: All Freeport-McMoRan Employees
Subject: Surge in Coronavirus Cases
From: Richard C. Adkerson, Vice Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer
Date: July 3, 2020
The pandemic continues to have far-reaching and unprecedented effects on our daily lives. Like many of you, I keep a close watch on the situation, and the current spike in cases in the U.S. and other countries where we operate has me deeply concerned about the health and safety of our employees, their families and our communities.
According to the World Health Organization, there have been more than 11 million confirmed coronavirus cases worldwide and more than 500,000 deaths. This somber statistic is only eclipsed by the fact the U.S. leads the world in both coronavirus infections and COVID-19 deaths, while Peru and Chile have the second and third highest number of confirmed cases in Latin America. The significant increase in new cases in Arizona is notable and concerning.
Make no mistake – these numbers are people who live and work in our communities. While new cases often involve younger people who may be less vulnerable to the extreme consequences of COVID-19, the increasing number of infected people inevitably exposes the most vulnerable people in our communities to the potentially fatal consequences of this disease.
With this escalating trend and with you and your family's safety in mind, I cannot emphasize enough how critical it is for each of us to be diligent in taking precautionary measures to mitigate the transmission rate. This means wearing masks, focusing on sanitation (most importantly, following the established protocol for hand washing) and maintaining social distance.
I recognize all of this is challenging and represents significant change in our personal lives over what is now a prolonged period. Life is different for us all, and we may be required to accept the need to be diligent for an indeterminate time until medical science prevails in addressing this virus.
Until then, each of us has a personal obligation to protect each other, our communities and our business. The ripple effect of COVID-19 cannot be understated.
I urge you to wear a mask anytime you are around others as you practice social distancing. This is important at work and away from work as we go about our daily lives. A mask is the gold standard of protection, primarily by helping to prevent transmission by infected people with no symptoms who unknowingly may spread the virus to others while also providing a degree of protection to the individual wearing the mask.
We are instructing all our employees who can work remotely to continue to do so. Our remote work policy remains the same today as it did at the start of the pandemic and is o ne important way for us to help keep our people safe.
The rise in new COVID-19 cases around the world and in our hometown communities shows us that we must remain vigilant in protecting our family, our communities and ourselves. Each of us must take this responsibility as a personal obligation.
Our company took quick, decisive actions in response to the severe economic effects of the pandemic. These actions required sacrifices and difficult decisions. I am so proud of Team Freeport for the effectiveness of our response. I want to thank each of you for your dedication, professionalism and continued support. Together, we have exhibited tremendous heart and resilience, again demonstrating the Freeport spirit of working together and adapting to change.
We truly are all in this together. With perseverance and resolve, we will overcome these serious challenges and embrace our bright future.