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Bette Midler inspired outrage due to her comments on the nationwide baby formula shortage.
Fans were shocked and horrified by the singer’s tweet on the subject, which said: “TRY BREASTFEEEDING! It’s free and available on demand.”
Midler was responding to an MSNBC host’s report that three American companies control over 90% of the formula market and that there are intense regulations to prohibit formulas from foreign countries.
The 76-year-old singer was slammed from both her supporters and critics, with almost everyone pointing out how ignorant the tweet made her sound. Both conservatives and liberals agreed that Midler’s take on this was incorrect.
“Imagine having a large gay fanbase, many of whom are raising kids in two-dad households, and thinking this is a good suggestion,” Tim Carvell, executive producer for “Last Week Tonight,” shared.
Another follower was equally annoyed, saying: “No. Please- we all love you, but delete this now. There are soooooooo many reasons a woman cannot or chooses not to breastfeed. This sentiment is not helping the mothers trying to keep their babies from starving right now.”
Some of Midler’s more optimistic fans mused that perhaps her account was “hacked” or that the post was written sarcastically.
“Queen Bette is joking. I’m sure of it,” one follower insisted.
In a follow-up tweet, however, Midler doubled down on her previous statement, insinuating that some women choose formula because they believe it is superior to breastmilk.
“People are piling on because of former tweet,” she wrote. “No shame if you can’t breastfeed, but if you can & are somehow convinced that your own milk isn’t as good as a ‘scientifically researched product’, that’s something else again. The monopoly news is news to me, tho, no lie. #WETNURSES.”
The White House has finally addressed the ongoing formula shortages, with White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki saying during a recent press conference that the FDA is treating the shortage as a “priority” and is “working around the clock” to “address any possible shortage.”
The retail data firm Datasembly reported in May that 40%-50% of major formula brands were sold out in 26 states. The areas most affected by the shortages are Iowa, Missouri, South Dakota, Tennessee, and Texas.
Supply chain issues contributed to formula shortages prior to that, but the shutdown of a major manufacturing plant in Sturgis, Michigan, played a key role in the crisis the nation is currently facing.