The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) has put out an urgent request for help from the President on behalf of U.S. truckers who are operating against increasingly tough conditions during the COVID-19 emergency.
The urgency of the April 3 letter to President Trump with is underscored by a header that reads:
HELP – MAYDAY – 9-1-1
In the letter, OOIDA asks Trump to provide Coronavirus testing for truckers who are being exposed. The group also asks the president for a detailed quarantine plan for drivers who become infected.
Since the Coronavirus outbreak began, federal authorities have expressed their thanks for the efforts of U.S. truckers in fighting the pandemic and have provided regulatory relief for drivers in a variety of ways, including relaxing HOS rules for drivers hauling relief supplies and extending deadlines for expiring Commercial Drivers Licenses.
You can read the full text of the letter below.
HELP – MAYDAY – 9-1-1
April 3, 2020
Dear President Trump:
Urgent and immediate action is demanded to safeguard our nation’s supply chain.
Small-business truckers and professional drivers are the vital link to it all, putting their lives on the line for the good of the nation.
Every day they are exposed to COVID-19 because of the critical service they provide for all of us. EVERY SINGLE DAY. They run in and out of the hot zones and without question they are exposed. They don’t have access to PPE or any practical means to know when they may be falling ill or any practical solution if they need treatment or self-isolation.
Access to testing must be available where they are, particularly on busy truck routes. And testing must show results in hours, not days. Along with that we need a strategy for treatment or quarantine that could take place at nearby motels.
Right now professional drivers are busting their butts to care for the nation. Their hard work and personal sacrifice should not include their health or even their lives if at all possible or preventable. Once word spreads that drivers are testing positive, we could very well see a tremendous reduction in drivers willing to risk everything for the rest of us.
We need a plan for them. We need help. Do it. Sincerely,
Todd Spencer President and CEO OOIDA