President Joe Biden claimed on May 13 that his administration could have been better prepared for the national baby formula shortage if they had been better “mind-readers.”
On Monday, his top official at the Department of Health and Human Services appeared to contradict that statement, claiming that his department and the Food and Drug Administration had known about the issue since last year.
CNN asked HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra if he was “satisfied” with the government’s response to the issue. The HHS chief affirmed that the administration was moving with urgency and has been since “last year.”
“From everything I’ve known, the FDA has kept me apprised of this from last year,” he responded on Monday. “We have been moving as quickly as we can.”
CNN: "You are satisfied with the government's response throughout [the baby formula shortage]?"
HHS Sec. Xavier Becerra: "FDA has kept me apprised of this from LAST YEAR. We have been moving as quickly as we can" pic.twitter.com/5WRZa5chYg
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) May 16, 2022
Becerra made it sound as though the Biden administration knew that this was going to be a problem longer than the president had recently implied.
On May 13, the same day Biden had lamented his administration’s ability to see the future, the president made it sound as if the emergency took them by surprise, as it did parents across the country.
“I’ll answer the baby formula question because, all of a sudden, it’s on the front page of every newspaper,” Biden said in response to one reporter asking about the emergency. Combined with his mindreader comment, the president gave the impression that the government was taken by surprise by the shortage.
Biden’s own White House website says that on February 17, “the largest infant formula manufacturer in the country—Abbott Nutrition—initiated a voluntary recall of several lines of powdered formula.” The White House claimed the federal government mobilized into action to get baby products onto the market as soon as they became aware it was an issue.
Yet varying reports also indicate that the baby formula shortage had been ongoing since the COVID-19 pandemic due to supply chain issues caused in part by a lack of workers and baby formula plants shutting down for medical reasons.
A company called Datasembly ran an analysis which showed that “showed that supply was ‘relatively stable for the first half of 2021. Then, the out-of-stock rate for baby formula hit 23% in January 2022 and has continued to climb, ” according to WKYC.
That would imply that the shortages began prior to Abbott’s plant closing down in February.
“Inflation, supply chain shortages, and product recalls have brought an unprecedented amount of volatility for baby formula,” Datasembly founder and CEO Ben Reich also said in the report released in April. “We expect to continue to see the baby formula category being dramatically affected by these conditions.”
In all the general uneasiness gives many the impression that the Biden team was simply unprepared for this emergency.
“Joe Biden has now fully proven he is not only America Last but also Family Last,” American Principles Project President Terry Schilling told the Daily Wire in a statement.
“At nearly every turn, his administration has actively undermined the interests of families. On education, for example, their focus has long been on woke indoctrination rather than real improvement — and when parents complained, the feds outrageously targeted them as ‘domestic terrorists,'” Schilling claimed.
The president of the pro-family think tank added that Biden’s failed response to the crisis is typical from the Left.
“So it should come as no surprise that Biden and Democrats failed to take seriously the risk of a baby formula shortage,” Schilling said.
“Perhaps they were too focused on preserving the legality of killing unborn babies to give the looming crisis their full attention,” he pondered. “But they can be assured American parents have been paying attention, and there will most certainly be consequences when those parents hit the polls later this year,” Schilling said in reference to the upcoming midterm elections, which polls indicate will be a bloodbath for Democrats.
The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.