And now the milk powder. As if he didn't have enough with inflation at levels unknown in 40 years, with the war in Ukraine, with his impotence in the face of the expected Supreme Court ruling against abortion, with the wayward democrats who prevent him from fulfilling his social promises and, finally, With public approval ratings rock-bottom, Joe Biden is now facing legions of parents outraged by a 40% baby formula stock-out rate.
The shortage is caused by the persistent supply problems due to the pandemic and the difficulties registered in the plant that the main manufacturer of the product in the country, Abbott, has in Sturgis, Michigan. There, the company had to withdraw in February all the powdered milk that was marketed under the Similac, Alimentum and EleCare brands after four babies suffered a bacterial infection and two of them died.
The crisis has become a number one concern for hundreds of thousands of parents across the country, as well as a challenge for the president and, of course, a political conflict between Democrats and Republicans.
As the AP agency reported this Friday, the shortage in question has aroused great interest in US milk banks, "with some mothers offering to donate breast milk and desperate parents calling to see if that's the case." a solution to feed their babies.
The Government defended the distribution of the so-called "baby formula" to these little ones, normally without resources and in greater difficulties than the children of the residents, for being "the morally correct thing to do."
Biden spoke Thursday with some of the nation's top manufacturers of the food to ask them to increase their production. At the same time, the president announced that he would order an increase in imports to baby formula exporting countries such as Mexico, Chile, Ireland or the Netherlands.
But relief may be slow in coming. Biden and the food administration say it will be a matter of "a few weeks or less." However, the company Perrigo PLC, which makes powdered milk for retailers such as Walmart and Amazon, indicated that it expects the shortage and the increase in demand to last for the "rest of the year", according to its management told the Reuters agency. It must be taken into account that, under normal conditions, the US supplies 98% of this product.
The midterm legislative elections are six months away and Biden continues to sink in the polls. Problems like powdered milk don't help.