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Trump holds call with food giants executives urges Americans to stop hoarding essential items

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a news briefing at the White House

WASHINGTON, DC – US President Donald Trump on Sunday held a phone call with the leaders of Americans food industries and stressed on the supply chains across the United States which has been affected by the global coronavirus pandemic.

Trump spoke with CEOs of major grocery chains including Whole Foods, Wegmans, Publix and Aldi.

Trump urges Americans to stop hoarding food, supplies

News of Trump’s call with food and grocery industry leaders came as reports have emerged in the media of some Americans and companies price-gouging and hoarding supplies such as hand sanitizer as the worst infection outbreak is spreading rapidly across the country, infecting at least 3,485 with 65 fatalities, The Hill reported.

“The President reminded the participants that this is an all-of-America approach and each of their stores and the stores they support can help Americans feel calm and safe when shelves are stocked with the items they need. Supply chains in the United States are strong, and it is unnecessary for the American public to hoard daily essentials,” White House spokesman Judd Deere said.

Retailers including Amazon have taken steps to fight price gouging from sellers in recent weeks, though many brick-and-mortar stores have reportedly fallen victim to hoarders buying large quantities of goods for the purpose of resale.

While addressing the press at the White House on Sunday, following the telephonic conversation, Trump further urged Americans to only purchase what they needed.

“You don’t have to buy so much. Take it easy, just relax,” he said. “We’re doing great. It all will pass.”

Trump and Vice President Pence said grocery stores have assured the administration that they will remain open as normal, other than in some cases reducing hours to allow for thorough cleaning and restocking.

The coronavirus outbreak has sickened thousands of people in the US, while dozens of deaths have been reported, mostly in the state of Washington.