Posted 43 days ago
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
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 i... (Read more)