Biden Administration Criticized for Delayed Response to Baby Formula Crisis

In the latest in a series of crises mishandled, instigated, or exacerbated by President Biden and his administration, the shortage of baby formula had significant effects on vulnerable populations, leaving Americans struggling to find food for their families.

Adding to Biden’s stumbling reaction are new revelations from the House Oversight Committee that the White House had advanced knowledge — months of time — where they could have taken the shortage seriously and acted to prevent the worst of the crisis.

Health Care and Financial Services Subcommittee Chairwoman Lisa McClain (R-MI) confronted Biden’s FDA Administrator Robert Califf this week about these revelations and presented emails showing that Biden could have taken action earlier to address the formula shortage.

Specifically, McClain revealed two internal FDA email threads from February 2022. In the first email, FDA officials discussed potential infant formula supply issues and asked for quick assistance from the White House to ensure Americans are prepared. By the time the second email exchange occurred on February 19, FDA officials were already discussing supply issues that were unfolding.

“Despite these discussions within the FDA, media reports said the president was not aware of the problem even though it was headlining nearly every news channel and every paper across the country for three months,” McClain pointed out in this week’s hearing with Commissioner Califf. “My question is: did the FDA not raise concerns about the potential shortage even before the recall?” she asked, referencing the voluntary recall of formula produced at Abbott’s Sturgis, Michigan, plant initiated in February 2022.

Califf, who was confirmed to the FDA post the day Abbott announced the voluntary recall in mid-February, said he “can’t speak for before the recall but at about the time of the recall.”

President Biden claimed in June 2022 that he didn’t know about the issue until April 2022. However, as the FDA emails McClain obtained show, the FDA alerted at least nine different White House officials about shortages in February. Biden stated that he wasn’t made aware of the issue until April. It wasn’t until May that the White House took any action, at which point Biden incorrectly stated “we moved as quickly as the problem became apparent to us.”

“Either the FDA didn’t tell him or he didn’t act,” emphasized McClain in her questioning of Califf. “Which is it?”

“I think you have the emails and I can’t really comment beyond that,” was all the FDA chief could muster as a response.

The FDA ignored the baby formula shortage for months, resulting in baby deaths. Now, they are letting product applications stagnate while the market is flooded with illegal goods.

They call this leadership? They expect us to trust them? Give me a break.

Just as it was evident to American families relying on formula as soon as Abbott initiated its recall, the FDA knew that there were serious supply shortages — and had even discussed the potential of shortages before the recall — causing a crisis. The FDA informed multiple White House officials working in the Executive Office of the President (denoted by “EOP” in the emails) about the worsening crisis in February. According to Biden’s version of events, he was first alerted to the situation in April, but didn’t take any action until May, when he claimed to have “moved as quickly as the problem became apparent.”

Either no one in the White House informed Biden of the crisis as it developed — for months — and he was somehow entirely unaware of the widespread coverage of the formula shortage, or he and his aides were aware and didn’t take any action while formula shelves remained empty and vulnerable Americans went without the nourishment they needed.

Chairwoman McClain is right: the American people deserve answers.

Written by Staff Reports

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