Truck horns blare during Trump’s Rose Garden press conference
President Trump’s Rose Garden press conference on Friday was scored to the sound of blaring horns as truck drivers nearby protested for fair wages.
The horns, which could be heard clearly from Constitution Avenue outside the White House, persisted throughout the president’s remarks on his administration’s efforts to speed the development and production of a coronavirus vaccine.
The horns were audible for close to 30 minutes, prompting Trump to acknowledge them. He claimed they were a “sign of love” for his presidency.
“And you hear that outside, that beautiful sound? Those are truckers that are with us all the way. They’re protesting in favor of President Trump, as opposed to against,” he said.
“That’s the sign of love, not the sign of your typical protest,” Trump added. “So I want to thank our great truckers.”
President Trump: “Vaccine or no vaccine, we’re back.” pic.twitter.com/xJm8VqRmn8
— The Hill (@thehill) May 15, 2020
The protest coincided with Trump’s press conference to detail Operation Warp Speed, a government-wide initiative to speed the timeline to produce a coronavirus vaccine.
White House chief of staff Mark Meadows later ventured out to meet with some of the protesters, according to a spokeswoman.
The demonstration by truckers mirrored one from earlier this month in which drivers lined the street near the White House and laid on their horns to protest low shipping rates, which drivers say are making it difficult to make a living wage.
Truckers are facing economic hardship as the economy contracts due to the pandemic, and The Washington Post reported that freight brokers have imposed low rates, further driving down their wages.
Congress has not provided targeted relief for the trucking industry, though Trump hosted truck drivers at a White House event last month to praise drivers for supporting U.S. commerce and supply chains amid the pandemic.
Updated at 2:33 p.m.