Incoming White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre says shortages of baby formula are a priority for the Biden administration.
But she struggled to point to an individual at the White House tasked with addressing the issue while speaking to reporters on Wednesday.
During a press gaggle on board Air Force One, a reporter asked, “Who’s running point on the formula issue at the White House?”
“At the White House, I don’t know,” Jean-Pierre said before laughing.
She added, “But I can find out for you and get you a person who’s running point.”
Listen to the moment below:
Reporter: “Who’s running point on the formula issue at the White House?”
Deputy Press Sec. Jean-Pierre: “I don’t know, I can find out.” pic.twitter.com/gArlhxq290
— The Post Millennial (@TPostMillennial) May 11, 2022
Jean-Pierre said the administration has been “tracking” the issue and that it is a “top priority” for the administration.
Biden spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre claims the baby formula shortage is a “top priority.”
…Biden has not said a word about it pic.twitter.com/XgBW1E9bAO
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) May 11, 2022
As The Washington Post notes, there has been a low supply of baby formula for months.
However, it reported, “In recent weeks, the products have been especially hard to find, forcing some retailers to limit purchases as the Food and Drug Administration scrambles to respond to the crisis.”
The Post explains, “Ongoing supply chain disruptions tied to the coronavirus pandemic have fueled shortages of a wide range of consumer goods, but the lack of baby formula worsened in February after manufacturer Abbott issued a recall for products made at a Michigan plant and sold under the Similac, Alimentum and EleCare labels.”
“Four children — one in Minnesota, one in Texas, and two in Ohio — fell ill with bacterial infections, and two died,” it added.
To address the shortage, Abbott said it is “prioritizing production of infant formula products” and is air-shipping formula from its facility in Ireland.
Meanwhile, Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Robert Califf said in a statement on Tuesday, “We recognize that many consumers have been unable to access infant formula and critical medical foods they are accustomed to using and are frustrated by their inability to do so.”
“We are doing everything in our power to ensure there is adequate product available where and when they need it,” he continued.
“Ensuring the availability of safe, sole-source nutrition products like infant formula is of the utmost importance to the FDA. Our teams have been working tirelessly to address and alleviate supply issues and will continue doing everything within our authority to ensure the production of safe infant formula products,” he added.
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