MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinski questioned Thursday morning U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy on why there appears to be a lack of urgency from the Biden administration over the baby formula shortage.
During the interview on “Morning Joe,” Murthy defended the administration’s handling of the shortage, saying the administration recommends parents who can’t find formula switch to a new brand and check other locations. Brzezinski then asked why the government lacks “intensity.”
“I’m not feeling an intensity,” Brzezinski said. “Do you want to know where there is not a baby formula crisis? In Poland, on the border, where they took in almost 4 million people in three months, and there’s enough formula there. There’s food. They’ve set up housing. They’ve been able to do all of this, by the way, with the help, with the fundamental help of the U.S. military. So my question is: why isn’t there the same mobilization here in America for this crisis?”
“I mean, mothers are being told to go to website or to drive hours or to try formula that might make their babies sick. Are we really here? What is solving the problem, not in a matter of weeks, but when are we going to see formula in the mouths of babies in America without any stress in terms of getting it?”
Murthy said Brzezinski’s concerns are legitimate but said the Biden administration is working to minimize any effects. (RELATED: Mayorkas Responds To Claims That Migrants Are Getting ‘Pallets’ Of Baby Formula)
“We want to pull every lever we can to get formula here,” Murthy said. “We’ve already seen an increase in production above the levels that we saw before the plant closed down in Michigan. There is a production increase. We are seeing an impact. We want more of that, and that is why we are pulling more of the levers, and we are not going to stop until every baby has the formula is needs to thrive.”
President Joe Biden announced Wednesday he was invoking the Defense Production Act (DPA) to “ensure that manufacturers have the necessary ingredients to make safe, healthy infant formula here at home.” The DPA gives Biden significant control over domestic industries in case of a national emergency.
“The President is requiring suppliers to direct needed resources to infant formula manufacturers before any other customer who may have ordered that good,” the White House said. “Directing firms to prioritize and allocate the production of key infant formula inputs will help increase production and speed up in supply chains.”
To help ease the pressure, Biden also announced the Department of Defense would use commercial aircraft to fly in formula from other nations as part of “Operation Fly Formula.”