Rep. Van Duyne to Newsmax: Biden Administration ‘Sat on Its Hands’ During Baby Formula Crisis

Rep. Van Duyne to Newsmax: Biden Administration 'Sat on Its Hands' During Baby Formula Crisis "Prime News"

By Charles Kim | Wednesday, 18 May 2022 10:49 PM

Rep. Beth Van Duyne, R-Texas, told Newsmax Wednesday that the Biden Administration "sat on its hands" early in the baby formula crisis, waiting to respond to the company to get the shut down Michigan Abbott factory reopened.

"I know a lot of my Republican colleagues are asking and parents around the country are asking what took so long," Van Duyne said during "Prime News" Wednesday. "[The administration] had notification when the [Food and Drug Administration] shut down one of the largest manufacturing plants of baby formula in the country, you knew that that was going to happen."

Van Duyne pointed out that Abbott quickly responded to all of the FDA's complaints "and said, 'Open this back up,' and FDA sat on that letter for over five weeks."

The Abbott factory in Sturgis, Michigan, closed in February after reports of possible bacterial contamination that sickened four babies. Because the factory accounts for about 40% of the baby formula produced in the United States, its closure caused a nationwide shortage.

On Wednesday, President Joe Biden invoked the Defense Production Act, requiring suppliers to "direct needed resources" to infant formula manufacturers before "any other customer" that may have ordered that good, according to the White House.

Biden also directed the Department of Health and Human Services and Department of Agriculture to use Department of Defense commercial aircraft to pick up formula overseas that meets U.S. standards so it can get to store shelves faster.

The FDA and Abbott reached an agreement Monday to reopen the factory, but it will likely take about eight weeks to see new formula from there in stores.

"[The administration] just completely had no clue how to move forward, and they ignored Abbott's responses, and requests to open back up," Van Duyne said.

She said the response of this administration was "completely different" from a similar crisis involving a shortage of meat under the administration of former President Donald Trump.

"President Trump actually contacted meat distributors and said, 'What do we need to do to get you up and back up?' He partnered with them," Van Duyne said. "He empowered U.S. producers to be able to do what they do best, which is to succeed, and to think beyond the box to remove the regulations that prevented them from being able to produce. This administration has done the complete opposite."

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