'The Lifeblood of Our Economy': Trump Honors American Truckers at the White House

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Posted: Apr 17, 2020 10:50 AM
'The Lifeblood of Our Economy': Trump Honors American Truckers at the White House

Source: AP Photo/Evan Vucci

President Trump singled out one American industry on Thursday as having gone above and beyond their normal duties in the face of the Wuhan coronavirus. The president invited representatives of several shipping and trucking companies to join him in the Rose Garden to tell the nation how much their work has kept the country from falling apart. 

"I speak for the 330 million plus Americans and we say, 'thank God for truckers,'" the president said alongside representatives from UPS, DHL, and FedEx, among others. Trump was also flanked by semi trucks from the shipping companies that he had also invited to be part of the tribute. 

At a time of widespread shutdowns, truck drivers form the lifeblood of our economy — and the absolute lifeblood.  For days, and sometimes weeks on end, truck drivers leave their homes and deliver supplies that American families need and count on during this national crisis and at all other times.  They’re always there.  Their routes connect every farm, hospital, manufacturer, business, and community in the country.

In the war against the virus, American truckers are the foot soldiers who are really carrying us to victory.  And they are.  They’ve done an incredible job.  We’ve had no problems.  It’s been just — it’s been just great, and we want to thank you very much.  It’s really great.  We have a little special — a little special award too.

To every trucker listening over the radio or behind the wheel, I know I speak for the 330 million-plus Americans that we say: Thank God for truckers.  That’ll be our theme: Thank God for truckers.

The president, alongside Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, also honored the truckers with a ceremonial golden key, thanking representatives from each company. 

"The whole country is cheering you on," Ms. Chao said of the truckers. "Without you, it would be impossible to keep our economy moving and get food, medical equipment, and essential supplies to where they need to be."

Remarks were also heard from truckers, detailing their experience during the pandemic and sharing messages of courage and American spirit. Charlton Paul, a 25-year UPS veteran who drives more than 600 miles per day, said he had recently transported 180 gallons of hand sanitizer manufactured by Prohibition Distillery in New York. His colleagues at UPS freight, he said, has been delivering hand-sanitizer by the barrel to the New York City Police Department. 

"I couldn’t be more proud of my team," Paul said. "I’m also honored to be here representing more than 495,000 UPS workers worldwide to get essential supplies to our frontline healthcare and emergency responders every day. My hat is off to the entire trucking industry for keeping our country and our economy moving. Thank you and God bless you."

Tina Peterson of FedEx, who has been completing nearly a dozen round trips per month in response to surging demand, recounted the support she had received while on the road. 

Since the coronavirus hit in the U.S., I have seen an increase in residential delivery of e-commerce at FedEx Ground.

My husband Dave and I have had a family give us a meal out of the back of their pickup truck at a rest area that they put together for truck drivers.  We’ve received thumbs up from motorists on the highways and have seen people standing on overpasses waving American flags to the passing trucks.

The delivery drivers bringing packages to doors have been sharing photos of thank-you letters, notes, cards, and sidewalk chalk messages telling us, “Thank you for still working,”  thanking drivers for delivering what their families need right now.

We recognize and appreciate the unique position we are in, helping to deliver aid and keep the economy moving during this challenging time.

Everyone at FedEx would tell you this is who we are and what we do.  Thank you.

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