Trump Says He Is Speeding Help to Farmers Hurt by CCP Virus Dislocation

April 10, 2020 Updated: April 10, 2020

President Donald Trump said on April 9 he has directed his agriculture secretary to expedite help to farmers, especially small farmers, hurt by the economic disruption caused by the CCP virus outbreak.

On Twitter, Trump also said he expects Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue “to use all of the funds and authorities at his disposal to make sure that our food supply is stable, strong, and safe.”

Trump did not specify what he expected Perdue to do, but farmers are waiting for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to announce how it will disburse $9.5 billion Congress set aside for the industry in the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus relief bill signed by Trump last month.

A pile of zucchini and squash is seen after it was discarded by a farmer in Florida City, Fla., on April 1, 2020. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Farmers are an important part of Trump’s political base as he seeks reelection in November.

Also on Twitter, Perdue said the USDA “is using all financial resources we have been given to develop a program that will include direct payments to farmers & ranchers hurt by COVID-19 & other procurement methods to help solidify the supply chain from producers to consumers.”

Chief Allan Lawson (R) and Colonel Gent Welsh
Chief Allan Lawson (R) and Colonel Gent Welsh, both from the Washington Air National Guard, help distribute food with volunteers at the Nourish Pierce County food bank set up at the Mountain View Lutheran Church, in Edgewood, Washington, on April 4, 2020. (Karen Ducey/Getty Images)

The American Farm Bureau Federation said last week that farmers need immediate help and it urged the USDA to make special direct payments to dairy and cotton producers, livestock farmers, and cattle ranchers, among others.

The group said certain sectors have been particularly hard-hit, including dairy farmers and specialty crop producers, such as vegetable and fruit farms.

By Eric Beech

Epoch Times staff contributed to this report.