America’s trucking industry wants people know that despite fear surrounding the coronavirus epidemic, they can count on grocery store shelves being stocked and other goods being delivered.
“The coronavirus pandemic invokes fear. That’s understandable. We’re confronted with a novel virus that represents a serious threat to public health,” ATA president and CEO Chris Spear said.
“We’re also faced with uncertainty. Uncertainty gives rise to misinformation, and it’s in these environments that rumors run rampant. Hysteria, more so than the underlying challenge, is often what fuels public fear,” he continued.
“It reminds me of 9/11. In the immediate wake of that horrific attack on our country, the things we didn’t know outweighed the things we did. Those “unknowns” gave room to falsehoods, and rumors spread — like an epidemic,” Spear added.
Spear then urged Americans to unite against a common enemy in the coronavirus, and promised that the country’s logistics workforce is up to any challenge presented to them.
“There is plenty of food, water, medicine, fuel and, yes, toilet paper, in our supply chain. The empty shelves temporarily seen are simply the result of surge demand as Americans rush to stock up. They’ve been quickly restocked as carriers and retailers adjust to the whims of the market,” he wrote.
“Truckers don’t deal in fear. They have a job to get done. They get up, hop in the cab, and take to the road. Truckers always deliver, even when there’s a natural disaster or expanding crisis,” Spear continued. “Like those crises of past, this coronavirus pandemic too shall pass. After a period of disruption to our familiar routines, life will return to normal.”
Spear concluded, “I don’t anticipate this road will be easy, but I have no doubt we will surpass it. Let facts, not rumors, guide the way. Pull together, rather than against one another. Put politics aside in the interest of our common good. Above all, keep calm — and keep on trucking.”
The ATA’s statement comes after reports of food and toiletries shortages nationwide, as people rush to stock up on goods in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
President Donald Trump urged people this week to “relax” and stop hoarding supplies.
“You don’t have to buy so much, take it easy,” he said Tuesday. “Relax, we’re doing great. It all will pass.”
#NEW MUST WATCH!!! “You Don’t Have To Buy So Much, Take It Easy Relax. You’re Buying More Than You Buy At Christmas, Stores Are Working Around The Clock There Is Plenty Of Food & Essentials. We Will NOT Run Out, Stores Will Not Close. Stop Hoarding” @realDonaldTrump #coronavirus pic.twitter.com/2rPYWCDsCZ
— Christina Aguayo America’s🇺🇲 Daily Report (@TinaAguayotv) March 15, 2020
Trump has been in constant communication with many of the country’s largest retailers, which have pledged to stay open throughout the public health crisis.
“Our supply chains in America are the most powerful in the world, and they’re all working very hard,” he said.
The U.S. Census Bureau reported in 2019 that the number of truckers is at an all-time high.
More than 3.5 million people currently work as truck drivers, according to the bureau.
The Census Bureau said at the time, “Between 2012 and 2016, the number of trucking businesses grew 15.9%, outpacing total growth across all industries (8.0 percent).”
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