President Donald Trump announced a $19 billion relief program for U.S. farmers suffering under the coronavirus Friday.
Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced the program with Trump, saying direct payments to farmers will make up $16 billion, with an additional $3 billion being spent on fresh dairy, produce, and meat products. The program comes as the U.S. food supply chain has been stressed under social distancing guidelines for COVID-19. (RELATED: Asked Whether China Censored Early Coronavirus Data, Senior WHO Official Said He ‘Didn’t Look’)
Perdue said the relief program will not fully meet the needs of farmers, but additional relief will come in July to help the food supply chain to recover its economic losses.
The news comes as several states have begun the process of reopening after the coronavirus. The Trump administration announced new guidelines for states to reopen on Thursday. Reopening will take place in three phases, and every state will take the process at its own pace according to the severity of its outbreaks. (RELATED: REPORT: Coronavirus Came From Wuhan Laboratory, Part Of China Trying To ‘Compete’ With America)
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 17, 2020
Protesters in Michigan and Virginia have called for their governors to speed up the reopening process. States like New York, New Jersey, and Louisiana with the most severe outbreaks are likely to remain under lockdown beyond May 1.