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Tens of thousands of kilograms of baby formula has landed in the US amid a national shortage, and President Joe Biden says it will be on shelves as early as this week.
The Daily Mail reports the shipment from US military's Ramstein Air Base in Germany landed in Indiana over the weekend, as part of Biden's Operation Fly Formula program to replenish supplies.
The President tweeted: "Folks, I’m excited to tell you that the first flight from Operation Fly Formula is loaded up with more than 70,000 pounds of infant formula and about to land in Indiana.
Folks, I’m excited to tell you that the first flight from Operation Fly Formula is loaded up with more than 70,000 pounds of infant formula and about to land in Indiana.— President Biden (@POTUS) May 22, 2022
Our team is working around the clock to get safe formula to everyone who needs it. pic.twitter.com/cX4KU0eDtZ
"Our team is working around the clock to get safe formula to everyone who needs it."
A White House official revealed to CNN that the first imports will be distributed to regions 'where the needs are most acute'.
America has been plagued with a vast shortage of formula, leading to multiple reports of children hospitalised.
It was estimated that 45 per cent of baby formula products were out of stock in the US last week, according to The Guardian.
The manufacturer Abbott is to blame for the baby formula crisis, which began escalating in February after the company shut down its Abbott Nutrition’s plant in Sturgis, Michigan, when health officials found potentially deadly bacteria on site.
The plant was responsible for producing up to 25 per cent of the nation’s baby formula.
Director of the National Economic Council, Brian Deese, told CNN's State of the Union: “We had a manufacturer who wasn’t following the rules and that was making formula that had the risk of making babies sick.
“So we have to take action on that front.”
Deese also suggested introducing more companies producing baby formula to avert a potential shortage in the future.
The recall resulted in deaths and illness among newborns, as Abbott provides the formula to many infants who receive benefits from the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC).
Abbott Laboratories CEO Robert Ford has also apologised in an op-ed for The Washington Post over his company's contribution to the shortage, saying they are taking steps to ensure it never happens again.
He said: “The past few months have distressed us as they have you, and so I want to say: We’re sorry to every family we’ve let down since our voluntary recall exacerbated our nation’s baby formula shortage.”
Ford added: “We will not take risks when it comes to the health of children.”
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