In online nomenclature, if a video or photo “breaks the internet,” then it means that the viral object is wildly popular and ubiquitous across the web. Unfortunately, that isn’t what we mean when we say the Biden administration’s website for parents seeking baby formula “broke the internet.” That new site is such a disaster that even CNN is blasting the darned thing for failing to work as advertised.
On Friday, then White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki announced that the Department of Health and Human Services created a new tool for parents that would serve as an easy access guide for how to locate baby formula products as the nation suffers a shortage of the substance necessary to feed so many babies.
“We recognize that parents have a lot of questions,” Psaki said to reporters on Friday. CNN noted that the website was supposed to be a one-stop-shop for “resources and places that parents can go to obtain the formula, including contacts with companies, food banks (and) health care providers.”
But alas, when that was tested out, CNN was met with frustration and long wait times just to get some answers.
“The exercise resulted in apologetic customer service representatives, one hold time that lasted well over an hour, and serious challenges in finding baby formula through some of the main suggestions listed on the new HHS website,” CNN claimed.
For example, the government website lists the phone number for Abbott’s consumer hotline. When CNN called that number with inquiries, they were told that the company does not answer questions over the phone.
The government website also pointed folks to Reckitt’s customer service line. The reporter was placed on hold for 72 minutes and concluded that that “option could drive some anxious parents over the edge.”
Psaki presented the website as if it were a solution for families. Instead, it appears that the website established by the Biden team merely provides easily googleable contacts for companies.
In turn, those corporations gave little to no insight on how to find the baby formula in the meantime. The situation overall might leave some parents feeling helpless, as it seems neither the government nor the private sector wants to take leadership on the issue.
Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg, a relatively new parent, more or less said that the problem is out of the administration’s hands.
“The government does not make baby formula, nor should it. Companies make formula, and one of those companies — a company which, by the way, seems to have 40% market share — messed up and is unable to confirm that a plant, a major plant, is safe and free of contamination,” Buttigieg said on Sunday. “So the most important thing to do right now, of course, is to get that plant in Michigan up and running safely.”
“A plant shutting down because a company can’t assure that it is physically safe from contamination is the responsibility of the company,” he added. “The responsibility of the regulator is to ensure, as they take steps to get it ready, that it will in fact be safe when it comes back online.”
CBS noted that “Buttigieg said the administration has taken numerous steps to alleviate the scramble for parents, including creating more flexibility for the WIC program and exploring the importation of formula from abroad.”
Dr. Robert Califf, commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, also told CNN on Sunday that he anticipates “that within, you know, a few weeks we will have things back to normal.”
“Asked if it could have been prevented, he said, ‘There are always things that we could do better,'” CNN’s Kaitlan Collin’s noted.
Buttigieg’s and Califf’s responses could leave many with the impression that the federal government isn’t taking on the issue with the urgency that’s needed. Beyond that, the Biden administration’s website has left some feeling that the president’s response is a bit antiquated.
“This is such a 2010 solution,” former Trump Treasury appointee Will Upton tweeted.
The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.