Biden says he wasn't informed early on of baby formula woes
Company executives told the president they knew almost immediately the substantial impact that the shutdown of a major production plant in February would have on the U.S. supply.
President Joe Biden says he wasn't briefed on the prospect of nationwide shortages of infant formula for about two months.
He's also acknowledging the strain on families while his administration struggles to address the situation.
Yet company executives at a meeting Biden hosted from the White House on Wednesday told the president they knew the substantial impact that the shutdown of a major production plant in February would have on the U.S. supply almost immediately.
“They did, but I didn’t,” Biden told reporters later, saying he was not made aware of the severity until early April.
The delay, unexplained by Biden or White House aides, undercut the administration’s efforts to demonstrate that he has been on top of a problem.
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre insisted that the administration began working to address the crisis within days of the plant’s closure but could not explain the delay in raising the issue to Biden.
Biden's administration has imported foreign supplies and used a federal law to speed domestic production. But those steps didn't begin until mid-May, once retailers began rationing supplies and store shelves were emptying.