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President Biden said Wednesday that he was not aware of the potential nationwide shortage of infant formula until April.
He told reporters he had not been notified of the potential deficit for nearly two months – even company executives said Wednesday they were aware of the “general effect” that Abbott Nutrition’s Michigan manufacturing facility would be shut down immediately in mid-February. .
Abbott was not present at the virtual White House roundtable.
“They did, but I didn’t,” the president explained.
“Okay, here’s the deal. I became somewhat aware of this problem – after April – in early April, about how intense it was,” he continued. “And so, from that point on we’ve done everything in our power, and I can tell you right now. And we’ll continue to do that until we get the job done.”
The Biden administration is collecting 80 380,000 baby formula from Australia as part of ‘Operation Fly Formula’
White House Press Secretary Karin Jean-Pierre claimed that the Biden administration had worked to resolve the shutdown in a matter of days, but could not explain the delay in contacting the president.
He noted that he was “disappointed” by the lack of sources in the country.
“We’ve been doing this whole official process since the withdrawal,” Jean-Pierre said. “We’ve been working on it for months, months. We’re taking it incredibly seriously.”
Biden to meet with baby formula makers in the midst of a nationwide shortage
The press secretary added that the president was satisfied with how the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had handled the response, although FDA Commissioner Robert Callieff told lawmakers last week that the agency’s response was “too slow” and “too late.” Made
The White House’s “Operation Fly Formula” formula is being used to import, and the Defense Production Act has been used to speed up the domestic production of baby formula – measures that did not begin until mid-May.
The third and fourth rounds of shipment will begin next week, with about 3.7 million 8-ounce bottles equivalent to Candamil Baby Formula shipped free from London by United Airlines.
Bobs Australia will ship the equivalent of 4.6 million 8-ounce bottles of its infant formula delivered to the United States by next week.
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U.S. regulators and Abbott announced an agreement last month that would help pave the way for plant reopening.
It is unknown at this time what he will do after leaving the post.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.