Biden Touts That ‘89%’ Of Grocery Store Shelves Are ‘Full’


Anders Hagstrom White House Correspondent
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President Joe Biden responded to reports of empty shelves across the country Wednesday, arguing that store shelves are in fact “89%” full.

Biden made the statement in response to questions at a White House press briefing Wednesday, the second of his presidency. Americans have suffered from rising prices and supply chain chaos resulting in empty store shelves for months, thanks largely to the resurgence of COVID-19 variants. (RELATED: Biden White House Warns American Consumers Of Empty Shelves Come Christmastime)

“Notwithstanding the recent storms that have impacted many parts of our country, the share of goods in stock at stores is 89% now, which is barely changed from the 91% before the pandemic,” Biden said. “I often see empty shelves being shown on television. 89% are fully, which is only a few points below what it was before the pandemic.”

Biden appears to have been referencing tracking from IRI worldwide, which publishes weekly research on the availability of goods in U.S. stores. White House Director of the National Economic Council Brian Deese first touted the study Tuesday.

Numerous media reports have displayed empty shelves across the U.S. thanks largely to workers calling out sick due to the Omicron COVID-19 variant, a recent version of the virus that is both less severe and more transmissible.

Deese acknowledged Tuesday that the Omicron disruptions were “expected.”