Plane With More Than 70,000lbs Of Baby Formula Arrives In The US

More than 70,000 pounds of baby formula arrived in the United States on Sunday via military aircraft, President Joe Biden announced, as his top economics adviser pledged stores could see replenished supplies 'as early as this week.'
The shipment from the US military's Ramstein Air Base in Germany is the first in Biden's Operation Fly Formula program, aimed at ramping up international imports of baby formula to raise US supply.

It's one of several measures the president unveiled to mitigate the increasingly dire baby formula shortage that's plaguing Americans nationwide - which has already led to multiple reports of hospitalized children.

'Folks, I’m excited to tell you that the first flight from Operation Fly Formula is loaded up with more than 70,000 pounds of infant formula and about to land in Indiana,' the president wrote on Twitter just before the plane touched down.

'Our team is working around the clock to get safe formula to everyone who needs it.'

Biden press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters aboard Air Force One that the shipment weighed 78,000 pounds.

A White House official told CNN the first shipments will be distributed to parts of the country 'where the needs are most acute.'

The Biden administration has faced criticism over failing to act sooner amid the worsening crisis.

Officials however have pointed out that parents began struggling when formula manufacturer Abbott Nutrition was forced to shutter its Michigan plant over bacterial contamination.
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So far at least four babies were hospitalized in South Carolina over problems linked the shortage, CBS News reports.

Roughly 45 percent of formula products nationwide were out of stock last week. The parents hit the hardest are those whose children have dietary or other issues that limit the kinds of formula they can eat.

New York City Mayor Eric Adams took his own initiative to alleviate the crisis by signing an emergency order targeting attempts to price gouge formula on Sunday.

'This will help us to crack down on any retailer looking to capitalize on this crisis by jacking up prices on this essential good,' Adams said according to the Daily News. 'Our message to struggling mothers and families is simple: Our city will do everything in its power to assist you during this challenging period.'
Speaking to CNN's State of the Union on Sunday, Biden's Director of the National Economic Council Brian Deese said the shipments landing in Indiana are 'a specialty medical grade formula, the type that we most need in this market.'

'Just in that plane flight alone, that will cover about 15 percent of the overall national volume that we need for that.'

He said more flights would be expected 'early this week.'

Defending his boss against criticism that he did not act fast enough, Deese said: 'Well, because of the actions that we're taking right now, we're going to see more formula coming off factory lines and more formula in stores starting as early as this week.'

However the White House adviser was more vague when it came to when the domestically-produced supply will be replenished.

'It's going to take a little bit of time for the Abbott, that manufacturer, to bring its facility back online,' Deese said.

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