President Biden stated Wednesday that he didn't know how serious the shortage of baby formula was until April. However, formula manufacturers claimed they had alerted retailers about a possible shortage in February.
"I was aware of the problem after April or early April and how severe it was. We did everything we could from that point forward," Mr. Biden stated.
The president made this admission during a White House meeting of baby formula executives. His administration is trying to address the nationwide shortage caused by a February safety recall at Abbott Nutrition's plant.
Robert Cleveland, Reckitt's senior vice president, said that "we knew from the beginning this would be very serious." "We immediately reached out to Walmart and Target to inform them that we believed this would happen from the moment that the recall was announced."
Abbott, the nation's largest manufacturer of formulas, was absent from the meeting.
On Wednesday, Mr. Biden announced the next stage in "Operation Fly Formula". The next week will see shipments from Australia and the United Kingdom deliver over 680,000 pounds of formula products. That's equivalent to 8.3 millions bottles. It's only a fraction of the amount that the U.S. requires to feed its 2 million formula-dependent children.
Hannah Kroll, who set up a formula exchange group for parents to help them nationwide, said to CBS News that formula is still difficult to find.
Kroll stated that parents are now desperate as their two-week-old stockpile is gone. "It's terrifying. This is something that no parent should have to go through. It's heartbreaking."