Sunday shows preview: White House combats baby formula shortage, defends policies amid inflation
The ongoing nationwide baby formula shortage and responses to the crisis are expected to dominate this week’s Sunday show circuit, along with ongoing high inflation.
Baby formula supplies have been hit by supply chain issues as well as a recall of several products from Abbott Nutrition, a massive provider of infant formula, earlier this year following the deaths of two infants who had ingested products produced at the company’s Sturgis, Mich., plant and contracted a rare bacterial illness.
The facility has been shut down since February while the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) investigated its safety. Abbott Nutrition said this week that it has reached an agreement with the FDA to restart operations at the plant, saying that the agency has not definitively linked its formula to the illness and that the company has been making corrective improvements to address FDA concerns.
Meanwhile, the Biden administration and lawmakers have scrambled to address the baby formula shortage as retailers have rationed supplies and parents have struggled to find products needed to feed their children.
President Biden signed a bill Saturday that is aimed at expanding baby formula access for those enrolled in the government nutrition program for women, infants and children (WIC).
The Access to Baby Formula Act passed the Senate by unanimous consent Thursday after passing the House on a vote of 414-9 on Wednesday.
The Biden administration announced Thursday that 1.5 million bottles of infant formula would be delivered from Europe to the United States in the coming days and distributed to in order to increase U.S. supply.
The deliveries are part of “Operation Fly Formula,” one of several steps the White House is taking to address the shortage.
FDA Commissioner Robert Califf said the same day to a House panel that infant formula shortages are likely to ease in the coming days, claiming that “very significant progress” had been made toward reopening the Abbott plant.
National Economic Council Director Brian Deese appeared on PBS News Hour Thursday, where he offered assurances that the necessary steps are being taken in response to the crisis.
Deese said that “immediately” after the Abbott facility shut down, “the administration began working with manufacturers and retailers to try to make sure that production was increasing.”
He added that more importance must be placed on competition in the infant formula industry: “We need to think about how we can bring more competition into this market, more new entrants into this market, so that the American consumer is not reliant on any one private company as much as we are today.”
Deese is set to appear on CNN’s “State of the Union” and “Fox News Sunday.”
The White House has also continued to confront high inflation, seeking to compare its policies to those of a possible GOP administration in an effort to defend itself against criticism over the issue.
Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel, who will appear on will appear on “Fox News Sunday,” countered in a statement last week, saying: “Every time Joe Biden lies about his failed economic record, he is insulting every struggling American family and small business owner. Biden might be living in an alternate reality, but voters are not, which is why they solely blame Biden and Democrats for the rising prices they see for everyday goods, gas, and groceries.”
A poll this week found that Americans primarily attribute the high inflation to the Biden administration’s policies, as well as the war in Ukraine.
Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson (Ark.), who said earlier this month that he is considering a bid for the White House in 2024 and has also recently criticized Biden over inflation, will appear on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.), the chairman of the GOP Senate campaign arm, will be on CBS’s “Face the Nation.” Speaking to reporters earlier this month, Biden bashed Scott’s proposed tax plan, which would require all Americans who currently pay no income tax to start paying them and expiring federal legislation, likely Medicaid and Social Security programs among others, after five years.
Scott hit back at Biden with an ad launched shortly after the remarks.
“How do you destroy America’s economy? Look around. Joe Biden and the woke Democrats are doing it,” Scott says in the ad. “I’m Rick Scott. I’ve got a plan to rescue our country. Washington hates it. That’s how you know it’s good.
The senator also said this week the president is unable to do his job and called for him to resign.
“What he ought to do for this country right now is he ought to resign. He can’t do the job,” Scott said Friday. “And we ought to get somebody in there who wants to do the job and can do the job. He clearly can’t.”
Some have speculated that Scott may be eyeing a run for president in 2024 if former President Trump doesn’t run for reelection.
Below is the full list of guests scheduled to appear on this week’s Sunday talk shows:
ABC’s “This Week” — White House COVID-19 response coordinator Dr. Ashish Jha; retired Adm. Mike Mullen, former Joint Chiefs of Staff chair.
NBC’s “Meet the Press” — To be announced.
CBS’ “Face the Nation” — Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.); Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.); former Defense Secretary Robert Gates.
CNN’s “State of the Union” — National Economic Council Director Brian Deese; Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R-Ark.); Josh Shapiro, Democratic nominee for Pennsylvania governor.
“Fox News Sunday” — Deese; Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel.
FOX News Channel’s “Sunday Morning Futures” — Sen Tom Cotton (R-Ark); Kash Patel, Fmr. Chief of Staff for the DOD; Sen. Roger Marshall (R-Kan.); Mark Penn, Fmr Sr. Advisor to the Clintons and Stagewell Chairman and CEO
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