(Bloomberg) — President Donald Trump said Americans should buy fewer groceries as retailers struggle to keep food and other products in stock because of concern over the spread of coronavirus.
“There’s no need for anybody in the country to hoard essential food supplies,” Trump told reporters Sunday at the White House. “You don’t have to buy the quantities because it’s hard to refill the stores.”
Trump added: “Relax. We’re doing great. It all will pass.”
The comments came after Trump spoke on a conference call earlier Sunday with executives of grocery store chains and food producers. He said the executives told him people are buying three to five times as much as they normally do.
Companies on the call included Walmart Inc., Whole Foods Market Inc., Target Corp. and General Mills Inc., among others.
Americans have raided grocery store shelves and depleted supplies of toilet paper, paper towels and hand sanitizer as the number of U.S. coronavirus cases has grown to more than 3,000.
Trump received a commitment that stores will stay open through the outbreak, though hours may be reduced, Vice President Mike Pence said.
To contact the reporter on this story: Justin Sink in Washington at [email protected]
To contact the editors responsible for this story: Alex Wayne at [email protected], Justin Blum, Kevin Whitelaw
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