National Formula Shortage Results in Infant Hospitalizations: Who Is to Blame?
For several weeks parents across America have been struggling to find infant formula for their children. The scarcity of formula--coupled with crippling inflation and unprecedented gasoline prices--has caused American families to be unable to feed their children.
On Sunday Fox Business reported that the out-of-stock rate for infant formula reached 45%. That is to say, nearly one in every two retailers across the nation did not have baby formula in stock.
Aside from causing parents to panic, the formula shortage has caused children in various states to suffer profound physical side effects from dehydration and malnutrition, causing an increase in hospitalizations. In Charleston, South Carolina, alone, four infants were hospitalized this past weekend due to the formula shortage, according to Insider.
Fox News on May 18 reported that two children, a preschooler and a toddler, were hospitalized in Memphis, Tennessee, after their bodies were unable to adapt to a new type of formula. Both of these children had special nutritional needs and required a specific type of formula, but the shortage precluded access to the type of formula they needed. Subsequent to their admittance, each child needed to be administered fluids intravenously.
After several weeks of inaction, the White House announced on Wednesday that it was invoking the Defense Production Act to attempt to mitigate the effects of the shortage. The president also announced that he was authorizing the Department of Defense to "airlift" additional formula products from abroad in order to attempt to combat the shortage.
The first aircraft loaded with infant formula landed in Indiana on Sunday. According to Fortune, the plane came from Germany and carried 70,000 pounds of formula, which will provide nourishment for 9,000 to 18,000 babies for about one week.
Citizens on both sides of the political aisle have condemned the Biden administration for failing to address the formula shortage sooner. The shortage has been ongoing since early March.
Many on both the left and right are enraged by the Biden administration's sending of exorbitant amounts of money to aid Ukraine. According to The Hill, since the end of February, the United States has approved over $54 billion to help the Ukraine government.
As The Hill reported, the president asked Congress to authorize $33 billion dollars of assistance for Ukraine at the end of April, amid the formula shortage. The Democrat-controlled Congress (with the help of several Republicans) approved not only the requested amount but an additional seven billion dollars as well.
For some, the administration's foot-dragging and reticence to act is indicative of something much more sinister: The Democratic Party's indifference to the value of human life. Radical pro-abortion extremists both support and comprise the Biden administration.
When directly asked if he supported any limitations on abortion access, the president said, "You got [sic] to leave it up to the woman." The response seems to implicate that the president supports abortion up to the moment of live birth, so long as the woman chooses.
On May 11, then-White House Deputy Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre was asked who at the White House was charged with addressing the formula shortage. After a moment of hesitation, followed by stammering, Jean-Pierre seemed to laugh as she conceded that she did "not know."
The shortage was caused, at least in part, by the closing of an Abbott Nutrition formula-producing facility in Michigan a few months ago. Though the closing was reportedly "voluntary," Abbott's decision to close its factory came after a series of warnings about several of its products were issued by the Food and Drug Administration back in February. After these warnings were promulgated, Abbott decided to issue a recall on batches of its Similac, Alimentum, and EleCare baby formulas.
According to Joseph Antos, a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, who authored an opinion piece for NBC.com, the formula crisis "did not need to happen."
Its root cause, Antos contends, is an excess of federal regulations.
"If we hope to lower the threat of future shortages," Antos opined, "we need to promote greater competition among domestic producers and lower regulatory barriers to imports rather than have the White House invoke emergency powers."
On May 22, Jack Posobiec tweeted "Everyone knows if Trump was [sic] president right now[,] he would be making deals all over the place and cutting whatever regulations he needed to make the formula flow so fast not one American baby goes without it[.]"
Twitter.com | Tweet by @JackPosobiec
This tweet highlights the fact that on the campaign trail and while in office, President Donald Trump was committed deregulating, or cutting back federal regulations.
Shortly after taking office, President Trump issued Executive Order 13771. This order, the purpose of which was to greatly reduce the current amount of federal regulations and to preclude the unnecessary enactment of additional regulations, states in pertinent part that, "unless prohibited by law, whenever an executive department or agency publicly proposes … or otherwise promulgates a new regulation, it shall identify at least two existing regulations to be repealed."
According to Antos, "The [current] administration’s policy response to the baby formula shortage barely moves the needle." The solution, he argues, is deregulation and a reduction of tariffs on infant formula.
Antos's dissatisfaction with the administration's response is further bolstered by the fact that the single shipment that was airlifted from Europe is, by the most generous estimation, only going to provide enough formula for 18,000 babies for one week's time.