President Trump praised the nation’s truckers Thursday with an event at the White House, saying they have a “critical role” in helping America to defeat the coronavirus by delivering food and crucial supplies.
Flanked by tractor-trailers on the circular driveway of the South Lawn, Mr. Trump said he was speaking for all Americans by saying, “thank God for truckers.”
“In the war against the virus, American truckers are really the foot soldiers that are carrying us to victory,” the president said. “Truckers are playing a critical role in vanquishing the virus, and they will be just as important as we work to get our economic engine roaring.”
He gave four truckers large gold keys, and said, “You’re essential, that I can tell you.”
Truck driver Dylan Madigan of DHL Express in New Jersey said he has been honored to deliver medical supplies in his job.
“We are on the front lines, but we also know that our true heroes are the medical professionals who are battling to save thousands of precious lives each day,” Mr. Madigan said.
Stephen Richardson, a driver for Big G Express in Shelbyville, Tennessee, said he has switched during the crisis from hauling barrels of Jack Daniels whiskey to delivering loads of hand sanitizer. He said being honored at the White House “means the world to me.”
He asked the public to think about the roughly 3.5 million truckers on the road each day during the crisis.
“If you pass a truck out there on the road and get a chance, say thank you,” Mr. Richardson said.
Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao said the administration is working to ensure that rest stops and truck stops are open around the country and have enough food and beverages.
“Without you, it would be impossible to keep our economy moving and get food, medical supplies and essential supplies to where they need to be,” she told the drivers. “Truckers are playing a heroic role in helping America cope during this crisis.”