At a White House event April 16, President Donald Trump thanked the truck drivers who are ensuring that essential goods make their way to their much-needed destinations, calling them the lifeblood of our economy.
After giving a pat to one of the trucks on his way to the podium and calling the pair flanking him “beautiful, beautiful trucks,” President Trump started the event by addressing a handful of drivers to his right and left.
“You wouldn’t switch jobs with anybody, would you?” asked President Trump, going on to call them “heroes of our nation’s great struggle against the coronavirus.”
Describing drivers as the “foot soldiers who are really carrying us to victory,” he named the theme of the event, “thank God for truckers.”
"In the war against the virus, America's truckers are really the foot soldiers that are carrying us to victory," President Trump 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."
Several drivers were invited to the podium to share personal stories of delivering critical goods during the pandemic, from hand sanitizer to medical supplies.
"As a professional driver, I am proud to stand here representing my fellow drivers out there doing the important work of delivering for America," said Stephen Richardson, a resident of Decatur, Alabama, and a professional driver with Triple G Express out of Shelbyville, Tennessee. "I am proud to be a truck driver and I am especially proud of the work all of the drivers are doing now in response to this crisis."
In addition to Richardson, Charlton Paul, UPS Freight, Chester, New York, and Tina Peterson, FedEx Ground/Ravenwood Transport, Blaine, Minnesota, all spoke of their experiences, and received a gold key from President Trump, which he called an expression of thanks for their "essential" work. A truck from ATA-member FedEx Ground and the ATA's image truck served as a backdrop.
“I am so pleased to join the president in honoring America’s heroes, our country’s truck drivers and trucking industry – the whole country is cheering you on,” added U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao. “Without you it would be impossible to keep our economy moving.”
Chao also addressed the steps the Department of Transportation has taken to work with the industry, listening to concerns, providing regulatory relief, and helping to ensure that truck stops and rest areas are open, and food is available for drivers.
After awarding each driver with a ceremonial key, President Trump brought Spear to the podium to present him with one as well. "President Trump is absolutely correct in calling America's truck drivers 'the lifeblood of our economy," Spear said. "As he said, they truly are 'brave, bold and incredible' heroes."
You can watch the full event here.