CNN host Kate Bolduan pushed back against White House communications director Kate Bedingfield on Friday’s “At This Hour with Kate Bolduan” over her refusal to call the baby formula shortage a crisis.
Forty percent of the top baby formula products were out of stock as of April 24. The White House said it is a priority to supply a substantial number of baby formula to families relying on the product.
“At this point, do you, does the White House consider this a crisis?” Bolduan asked.
“I don’t think it’s about a label, I think it’s about addressing directly the need that families all across the country have,” Bedingfield said. “I’m a mom, I have two young kids. I’m not terrible far removed from the days of feeding my kids with formula. I know, and we know, the president knows how stressful this is for families across the country.”
“Of course, for one family, Kate, it’s going to be a crisis,” Bolduan pressed. “But is there a hesitation of calling this a crisis if that’s what it is?” (RELATED: Biden Admin Knew The Baby Formula Shortage Was Coming In February)
Bedingfield said there is “no hesitation” against taking action to combat the shortage, then mentioned that a major formula company, Abbott, recalled powdered formula due to safety protocols and closed its manufacturing facility in Michigan. Formula manufacturer Reckitt is supplying over 30% more product this year, according to a White House fact sheet.
Retailers, including CVS and Walgreens, have begun rationing the amount of formula that a customer can purchase as the average price of baby formula has increased 12% in the last year.
Republican Indiana Rep. Jim Banks called for answers from Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and Department of Human Health Services Secretary Xavier Becerra in a Thursday letter about the formula shortage, questioning about the amount of formula provided to illegal immigrants in the past year and how much money the departments spent in total on baby formula in 2021.