Rep. Donalds to Newsmax: No Victory Laps Over Baby Formula Flight

Rep. Donalds to Newsmax: No Victory Laps Over Baby Formula Flight Byron Donalds Rep. Byron Donalds, R-Fla. (Getty Images)

By Sandy Fitzgerald | Monday, 23 May 2022 10:27 AM

The Biden administration shouldn't be taking a victory lap over its weekend transfer of baby formula from Europe to the United States, because the Food and Drug Administration has no real plan to quickly reopen the closed Abbott Laboratories baby formula plant in Michigan, Rep. Byron Donalds said on Newsmax Monday.

"If you have enough formula for a half a million babies, guess what, that will last a half a million babies for a day, maybe two," the Florida Republican said on Newsmax's "Wake Up America." "It's like releasing oil from the strategic oil reserves. It sounds good, but it's not going to fix the problem."

Sunday, a military cargo plane with the first shipment of infant formula from Europe landed in Indianapolis. Enough specialty formula to fill a half-million bottles arrived, with experts saying that this version of the formula is used by about 17,000 babies nationwide.

Abbott's Sturgis, Michigan, facility closed in February amid contamination concerns. Chief Executive Robert Ford said Sunday the plant will reopen in the first week of June, but it could take up to eight weeks for products to hit the store shelves.

But Donalds said the major issue in the United States is that the FDA's regulations are too strict.

"This formula is safe for babies around the world," said Donalds. "The only reason we have three or four companies that make this stuff is that the FDA regulations are so high only four companies can get into the business."

Meanwhile, the transfer of baby formula should have happened much sooner, or even when it became apparent at least three months ago there would be shortages, said Donalds.

"Once again, Joe Biden has failed to realize that there was a crisis in the United States until it was too late," said Donalds. "That's what happened here."

The White House only began to pay attention to the problem, he continued, when mothers started appearing on television news to speak about the crisis.

"The FDA shut down this plant six months ago eight months ago," Donalds said. "Where was the strategy to continue the supply chain? At the height of the COVID pandemic, everybody was concerned about PPE. Everybody was concerned about reopening the economy.

"One thing nobody ever talked about was supply chain management because Donald Trump and his White House made sure that the supply chains into the United States were not disrupted. They moved heaven and earth."

But Biden, Donalds said, "has no plans, no strategies, so it seems like from week to week month to month, there are key products that are not getting the shelves in the United States … this administration is completely reactionary. They're not proactive, and here we are. We're talking about babies and baby formula."

Donalds also spoke out about the administration's plans to appeal a Louisiana judge's ruling against dropping the Title 42 disease control restrictions at the border, saying that if the rule is lifted, that will leave Biden with another crisis that he won't be able to manage.

"The United States is not prepared to take on this many illegal immigrants into the United States," he said. "We do not have the capacity. We do not have the hospital system. We do not have the schools for these children to actually go get educated. This will be a disaster for the country."

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