A baby formula shortage was caused when the Biden administration shut down the company that produces 40% of all formula used in the United States, based on possible contamination. Since then, the administration did little to nothing to help the supply of baby formula from vanishing from store shelves. It was like they didn’t care, at least until it became headline news that the administration seemed to not care.
On Sunday, a military plane arrived in Indianapolis carrying enough baby formula for more than half a million baby bottles. This was the first of several flights expected to come from Europe to help alleviate a shortage that has sent parents driving hours away to find food to feed their children.
President Joe Biden used Air Force planes to transport the formula in what was named “Operation Fly Formula” because there were no commercial flights available.
Weighing in at 78,000 pounds, or 39 tons, the White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters about the delivery aboard Air Force One as Biden flew from South Korea to Japan.
Tom Vilsack, Biden’s Agriculture secretary, was in Indianapolis to showboat for the administration when the first shipment arrived.
Brian Deese, director of the White House National Economic Council on Sunday, said that the flights were meant to provide “some incremental relief in the coming days” as the government works on a strong response to the shortage.
Remember, former White House mouthpiece Jen Psaki blamed mothers who she claimed were “hoarding” baby formula.
On CNN’s “State of the Union,” Deese said that Sunday’s flight brought about 15% of medical grade formula that is needed in the US, and said the administration did things that should result in “more formula in stores starting as early as this week.”
Deese said that the country needs more providers of formula “so that no individual company has this much control over supply chains.”
It took the administration since February to fix a problem its actions caused and that they foresaw happening.
The administration said that 132 pallets of Nestle Health Science Alfamino Infant and Alfamino Junior formula are leaving Ramstein Air Base in Germany for the United States and another 114 pallets of Gerber Good Start Extensive HA formula are expected to land in the coming days. In total, about one and a half million 8-ounce bottles of the three formulas, which are hypoallergenic for children with cow’s milk protein allergies, are believed will arrive this week.
According to Nestle, the company over the last few months has worked “around the clock” to address the formula shortage and to try to help meet the demand in the US.
“We have significantly increased the amount of our formulas available to consumers by ramping up production and accelerating general product availability to retailers and online, as well as through hospitals and home health care for those most vulnerable,” the company said in a press release.
“At Nestle we are absolutely committed to doing everything we can to get parents and caregivers the formula they need so their children can thrive,” it added. “We prioritized these products because they serve a critical medical purpose as they are for children with cow’s milk protein allergies.”
According to the USDA, authorization has been given under the “Operation Fly Formula” to the Departments of Health and Human Services and Agriculture to ask for Department of Defense support to deliver baby formula that meets US health and safety standards to help the products get to store shelves faster.
Abbott Nutrition, and US regulators, are planning to have the Michigan plant operational against by next week, but will take about 2 months to get the product ready for delivery.