President Trump Delivers Message to Americans Who Are Panic Buying
Washington D.C. – On Sunday, President Donald Trump emerged from a teleconference with leaders from a host of the nation’s largest grocery and retail chain stores and delivered a simple message to Americans: “Take it easy.”
If anyone would have told you a few years ago that the billionaire real estate tycoon turned President of the United States would be urging Americans not to “buy so much” at retailers, especially during an election year, you likely never would have believed it.
However, that’s exactly the situation we find ourselves in during these unprecedented times.
The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is exerting substantial pressures on America’s supply chain of essential living products such as food, bottled water, paper products, disinfectants, soap, hand sanitizer and basic medical supplies.
As Americans have grown increasingly worried about the health crisis in the last few weeks, “panic buying” has depleted warehouse inventories and retailers’ supplies of these fundamental products.
Most freight tracking models reveal demand for these and other similar items has reached peak levels, usually only seen during the Christmas season.
“You don’t have to buy so much. Just relax,” President Trump said to assembled media at the White House on Sunday afternoon.
Mr. Trump said he had a long discussion with heads of Albertsons, Campbell Soup Company, Cargill, Costco, Dollar General, General Mills, Hyvee, Kroger, Publix Supermarkets, Sysco, Target, Tyson Foods, Walmart and Whole Foods.
“They’ve actually asked me to say, ‘can you buy a little bit less please?’ We have no shortages other than people are buying three to five times what they normally would buy. There’s no need for anybody to hoard food supplies. It’s hard to refill the stores on a basis as rapid as they are refilling them,” the President stated.
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A growing number of grocers and retail chains, including Walmart, Publix and Kroger, recently announced they have begun trimming store hours to clean and restock.
Consumers can also purchase many of the goods that are in such high demand online.
President Trump also expressed confidence in our supply chains.
“Our supply chains in America are the most powerful in the world and they’re all working very hard around the clock,” he commented.
In an effort to support the expeditious transport of these goods, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) issued an Emergency Declaration late Friday evening.
The Agency’s Emergency Declaration suspended federal hours of service (HOS) regulations in all 50 states for those CMV operators and motor carriers involved in providing “direct assistance” in the transportation of “relief “supplies.
Many stakeholders Transportation Nation Network (TNN) has spoken to within the last 48 hours expressed hope that the FMCSA will provide additional guidance on various parts of the Emergency Declaration in the coming days.
TNN has reached out to the FMCSA inquiring if/when additional guidance will be forthcoming.
So far, we have not yet heard back.
Until then, here are 5 BIG QUESTIONS being asked about the FMCSA’s historic HOS exemption.
Photos courtesy of Erin Maxwell/White House