OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
The Biden administration claims it is working to rectify a deepening shortage of infant formula across the United States, but it’s not happening quickly enough for a growing number of parents.
Infants are being admitted to hospitals in growing numbers because they are malnourished and dehydrated as desperate parents find themselves unable to find enough formula.
What’s more, doctors are warning already that the worst is yet to come, as parents rip President Joe Biden over the growing shortages.
The Daily Mail notes:
The Medical University of South Carolina confirmed that at least four babies have been admitted to the hospital due to the formula shortage as of Thursday night, while Dr. Mark Corkin said he’s treating two toddlers for the same issue at the Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee…
An unknown number of babies are also being treated at a hospital in Atlanta.
According to the hospitals, the babies were admitted due to reactions they suffered from drinking formula different from the ones they usually drank because parents could not find the product amid the shortage.
Other heal professionals have noted that a lack of formula has also contributed to malnutrition and dehydration.
“I’ve never seen anything like this,” Corkins told CBS News. “They come in dehydrated. We give them IV fluids. We give them nutrition by vein. But that’s not a long-term solution.”
Reports of rising hospitalizations in the U.S. come after the Biden administration signed off on “Operation Fly Formula” which saw more than two hundred pallets of formula flown in from Germany on Friday. The Nestle-made formula, which is enough for only about 1.5 million eight-ounce bottles, will touch down in Indiana on Saturday.
FORMULA CRISIS: As families become more desperate to find baby formula, hospitals are now reporting children needing treatment because they aren’t getting enough nutrition. pic.twitter.com/msSf6cyyG4
— CBS Evening News (@CBSEveningNews) May 20, 2022
The Daily Mail adds:
The nationwide shortage in baby formula comes after an Abbott plant in Sturgess, Massachusetts, was shut down in February following a contamination incident. Abbott is one of four producers of formula in the U.S., which relies on the companies for 98 percent of the baby formula it consumes.
That single plant in Sturgess produces 80 per cent of the domestic supply of amino acid formula.
The average out-of-stock rate for the key product hit 43 percent earlier this month, according to Datasembly.
It has left parents scrambling to find enough baby formula for their infants as they are faced with rows of empty shelves across the country, which are sporadically refilled as producers try to maintain a steady flow.
The shortage has had the biggest impact on parents with babies who can only consume one formula brand because of allergies or restrictions to their diets. That has left stressed-out parents scrambling to find enough formula for their children in an environment where the supplies are dwindling.
“[It’s] just terrifying to think, ‘What if I couldn’t find her specific formula,” Ashley Strom, the mother of Chloe, who is 7-and-a-half-months old, told CBS News.. “Because it’s not like Chloe can just eat whatever is available.”
“It’s been really difficult to find any,” added Ellen Burnette of South Carolina in an interview with local WLTX. “When I went online, I could only get half a month’s worth.”
White House officials said that 132 pallets of Nestlé Health Science Alfamino Infant and Alfamino Junior left Ramstein Air Base in Germany on Friday and will arrive later Saturday. Another 114 pallets of Gerber Good Start Extensive HA formula is expected in the coming days, but it’s not clear when.
“These formulas have been prioritized because they serve a critical medical purpose and are in short supply in the United States because of the Abbott Sturgis plant closure,” said a White House official, according to the Daily Mail.
Biden was ripped by Republicans for incompetence in allowing the shortage to get so severe.
“Joe Biden is fighting harder for abortions than he is for baby formula,” said Republican National Committee chairwoman Ronna McDaniel.
Joe Biden is fighting harder for abortions than he is for baby formula.
— Ronna McDaniel (@GOPChairwoman) May 21, 2022
“Democrats have: No plan to secure our southern border. No plan to address inflation. And make no mistake, they had ZERO plan to address the baby formula crisis. Biden’s latest scramble wreaks of a cover-up. I’m fighting for answers and solutions,” Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.), the House GOP’s No. 3 ranking member.
No plan to secure our southern border.
No plan to address inflation.
And make no mistake, they had ZERO plan to address the baby formula crisis.
Biden’s latest scramble wreaks of a cover-up.
I'm fighting for answers and solutions.👇🏻https://t.co/1ra8hy2eT6
— Elise Stefanik (@EliseStefanik) May 21, 2022
— Fox News (@FoxNews) May 20, 2022
In Joe Biden’s America, it’s easier to find an abortion than baby formula.
— Max Miller (@MaxMillerOH) May 20, 2022