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Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg is simply deflecting blame from the White House over the nationwide shortage of baby formula, host Jesse Watters said Monday on “The Five.”
In an interview over the weekend, Buttigieg claimed the administration “acted from day one” after an Abbott Labs recall over tainted formula. The Illinois-based pharmaceutical giant has a large market share in the industry, producing Similac among other similar products.
Watters ripped Buttigieg for his comment that “government does not make baby formula,” noting that the government doesn’t and shouldn’t “produce anything.”
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“Mayor Pete can’t get baby formula in Joe Biden’s America. Yes. And Pete is not even blaming Joe Biden,” Watters said, adding that his son Jesse Watters Jr. has fared well during the shortage.
“The government doesn’t make baby formula. The government doesn’t make anything. When does that ever stop the government from getting involved in everything?” he asked.
Watters noted Buttigieg and other Democrats regularly beat the drum about the importance of regulation and oversight, pointing out the Food & Drug Administration has not appeared to at least pause the red tape involved in getting formula to market – including importing from overseas.
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Abbott, which previously forged a federal government contract for its Binax-NOW at-home coronavirus test, said it hopes to restart production at its affected Michigan plant within two weeks, pending FDA approval.
“”We would begin production of EleCare, Alimentum and metabolic formulas first and then begin production of Similac and other formulas,” the pharma giant said in a statement.
On “The Five,” co-host Dana Perino summarily questioned the absence of HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra during the formula crisis, remarking that the White House didn’t appear interested in acting urgently until Americans began “wanting to put [his] face on a milk carton.”
“Where’s he been?” she asked. “He’s like the only cabinet secretary you never see.”
The White House is “only blaming Republicans for not fighting against big oil. That is so insulting,” she added.