WASHINGTON, D.C. – President Donald Trump on Thursday praised America’s 3.5 million truck drivers as “foot soldiers” in the war against the Covid-19 pandemic.
The president was speaking at a special ceremony on the South Lawn of the White House, celebrating the industry.
“In the war against the virus, American truckers are the foot soldiers who are really carrying us to victory, and they’ve done an incredible job,” he said.
“Every trucker listening over the radio or behind the wheel, I know I speak for the 330 million plus Americans, and we say, ‘Thank God for truckers.’”– President Donald Trump
The ceremony was also attended by Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao and industry executives.
“Every trucker listening over the radio or behind the wheel, I know I speak for the 330 million plus Americans, and we say ‘Thank God for truckers,’” the president said.
“I don’t know if they call me essential. I’m not sure about that. But you are essential. That I can tell you.”
Trump spoke a day after appointing five executives from the industry to a large panel of leaders charting the country’s recovery from Covid-19.
American Trucking Associations president and CEO Chris Spear is among those appointed to the Great American Economic Revival Industry Groups.
The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA), which was excluded from the group, has demanded representation. The association represents some 160,000 truckers.
Secretary Chao said the Department of Transportation has been working hard at the president’s direction to help the drivers do their job.
“Truckers are playing a heroic role in helping America cope during this crisis.”– Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao.
“We are so grateful for what you do,” she said.
“Truckers are playing a heroic role in helping America cope during this crisis, and truckers will be a critical part in helping our economy recover,” Chao said.
Trump said the truckers have never wavered at all, and predicted that they will have a key role in the country’s economic recovery.
“Truckers are playing a critical role in vanquishing the virus, and they will be just as important as we work to get our economic engines roaring which is happening very quickly, you watch.”
“But once we get going, the truckers are going to be working so hard you’re not going to be able to take a day of rest,” the president said.
Drivers from UPS, DHL, ATA and FedEx were given special keys as a token of the president’s appreciation. Trump also gave keys to Chao and Spear.
Trucking moves more than 70% of America’s freight. In 2018, the industry hauled 11.5 billion tons of goods.
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