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President Trump urges public to 'relax' and stop hoarding

The president's message comes as customers clear supermarket shelves across the county.

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump is urging the public to stop hoarding groceries, telling Americans to “take it easy” and “relax.”

Trump’s Sunday message comes as many supermarket shelves across the country have been picked bare, with people stockpiling supplies like canned goods and toilet paper.

Trump said at a White House briefing that stores are working to keep up with demand but added “there's no need for anyone in the country to hoard” essentials.

"You don't have to buy so much. Take it easy. Just relax” because "it all will pass,” the president said, adding: "Can you buy a little bit less, please?”

Trump held a call earlier Sunday with the officials from the nation’s leading grocery stores. He said he was told the stores are stocking up even more than they would around Christmas time.

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Vice President Mike Pence urged Americans to only buy the groceries they need for the week ahead. Meanwhile, one of the nation's most senior public health officials has called on the nation to act with more urgency to safeguard their health.

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The virus has infected more than 156,000 people and killed more than 5,800. The disease for most people causes only mild or moderate symptoms but for some, especially the elderly or people with underlying health conditions, it can cause more severe illness. Nearly 74,000 people have recovered from it so far, mostly in China.

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