Dr. Boozman's Check-up

Whenever I do radio interviews, the host will often ask if there is anything I would like to add as we approach the end of the segment. Since the onset of the coronavirus crisis, I’ve used that opportunity to make a plea to listeners—there is no need to hoard food and supplies. 

While it is important to limit trips to the grocery store for social distancing purposes, shoppers should refrain from buying more than is needed for a week or two. These are anxious times, but the supply chain is resilient. You will be able to get food and supplies on your next visit, without depleting the options for others in need now. 

I conveyed this message on a recent phone call with President Trump in hopes that he would continue to echo it. I encouraged him to remind Americans that the supply chain remains strong and to share our gratitude for all of those working extra hours under extreme pressure to ensure that continues. I appreciate that he shared that message with the nation in his remarks from the White House later that day.   

We as a nation are rightfully thanking our first responders and medical community members who are standing tall on the frontlines of this fight. We must continue to do that, but I’d add that those responsible for keeping the supply chain up and running likewise deserve our thanks.

Our agriculture community, trucking industry and grocers are doing incredible work to ensure that food and critical supplies remain in stock. This moment is presenting an enormous challenge, but they are rising to the occasion.

Americans depend on our nation’s farmers to grow the food, fuel and fiber we need daily. That need becomes much more pronounced in times of crisis, which creates additional strain on those who provide the goods and supplies necessary for everyday life. That’s why I joined a bipartisan group of my colleagues to urge U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue to help ensure the continuity of our country’s food supply and support rural areas during the coronavirus pandemic. We asked Secretary Perdue to consider making emergency measures that provide relief to our farmers and ranchers effective for the duration of the pandemic and subsequent economic recovery.

We have to remember we are all in this together. While most of us are doing our part by following social distancing guidelines, those critical to ensuring the supply chain holds through this crisis are working harder than ever. We can each do our part to help ease the stress they are under, which in turn, ensures that our neighbors in the community can get the food and supplies they need as well.