Fmr. Obama Econ. Adviser Furman: ‘Many’ Policy Failures in Formula Shortage Were at FDA, They’re Not Doing ‘a Lot More’ They Could

Fmr. Obama Econ. Adviser Furman: ‘Many’ Policy Failures in Formula Shortage Were at FDA, They’re Not Doing ‘a Lot More’ They Could

On Thursday’s broadcast of CNN’s “Don Lemon Tonight,” Jason Furman, who served as Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers under President Barack Obama and on the Council of Economic Advisers and the National Economic Council under President Bill Clinton and is currently a Professor of the Practice of Economic Policy at Harvard University and the Harvard Kennedy School, said that in the formula shortage, “There are so many different failures of government policy, many of them at the FDA.” And that “The problem is the FDA. There’s a lot more they could do that they’re still not doing.”

Furman stated, “There are so many different failures of government policy, many of them at the FDA. They layer it on top of a long set of policies.”

He added, “We’re going to see that plant that the FDA ordered off-line coming back online in the next week or two. We are seeing these shipments from overseas. The administration has invoked the Defense Production Act to make sure that some of the key ingredients are being prioritized for baby formula over everything else. None of this though, none of these steps will work instantly.”

Furman further said, “I certainly think there could have been some earlier action here, but we’re seeing some very decisive action now, as much as the president can do. The problem is the FDA. There’s a lot more they could do that they’re still not doing.”

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Menendez: Cuba Responded to Biden’s ‘Unilateral Concessions’ by Increasing Repression, Including ‘Death Penalty for Free Speech’

Menendez: Cuba Responded to Biden’s ‘Unilateral Concessions’ by Increasing Repression, Including ‘Death Penalty for Free Speech’

On Thursday’s broadcast of MSNBC’s “Jose Diaz-Balart Reports,” Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) criticized the Biden administration for lifting some restrictions on Cuba by saying that the day that the policy changes were announced, the Cuban regime put “sweeping, draconian consequences” for free speech into law and that the Biden administration’s move is “a unilateral concession that ultimately was responded to by having a penal code that includes the death penalty for free speech activities.”

Menendez said, “On the day that the administration announced these unilateral concessions to the regime, the regime put into law, as part of their penal code, sweeping, draconian consequences for people who exercise what we would call here in the United States free speech, including the death penalty under certain circumstances for what would be an act of free speech. So, instead of insisting that the regime move towards change, respect for human rights, peaceful protests, giving a voice to the Cuban people, and stopping the jailing of dissidents, what we have is a unilateral concession that ultimately was responded to by having a penal code that includes the death penalty for free speech activities.”

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McCarthy: Biden ‘Did Nothing’ and Downplayed Using Defense Production Act on Formula Until People Complained

On Thursday’s broadcast of the Fox News Channel’s “America’s Newsroom,” House Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) stated that the Biden administration failed to act on the national baby formula shortage and downplayed the impact that invoking the Defense Production Act would have on fixing the formula shortage until “people rose to the occasion” and started speaking out about the issue and that President Joe Biden consistently ignores big issues.

McCarthy said, “We’ve watched what they’re doing that they knew about a baby formula shortage, all the way to last year. But the FDA continued to hold it up. They did nothing until people rose to the occasion.”

After viewing a clip of then-White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki saying on Friday that “The production of baby formula is so specialized and so specific that you can’t just use the Defense Production Act to say to a company that produces something else, produce baby formula. It just doesn’t work that way.” McCarthy responded, “They say one thing. They do another. And it’s because [of] their lack of action. But what he has done every single time since he’s been president is ignore a big problem.”

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Biden Nat’l Economic Council Head Deese Defends Waiting to Invoke DPA on Formula: Our Work Has Production ‘Getting to 100%’

On Thursday’s “PBS NewsHour,” White House National Economic Council Director Brian Deese responded to a question on why the Biden administration didn’t invoke the Defense Production Act to address the baby formula shortage earlier by stating that the administration has been working on the issue since February and “the reason why we are where we are today, where production is getting to 100%, is because of the work that’s been happening over the last several weeks.”

“NewsHour” Chief Washington Correspondent Geoff Bennett asked, “You have said that the administration was aware of this infant formula shortage back in February. So, why then did the government let it get to this point? Why not invoke the DPA much earlier to ease this supply situation?”

Deese responded, “The genesis of this challenge was that, in mid-February, on February 17, the FDA shut a facility, but — from Abbott manufacturing in Sturgis, Michigan. Because of a concern that the formula that was being produced was unsafe. That was a safety judgment that has to be made. And, of course, we’re dealing with infant formula, so we have to put safety at the front here. But, immediately after that happened, the administration began working with manufacturers and retailers to try to make sure that production was increasing. And, in fact, the reason why we are where we are today, where production is getting to 100%, is because of the work that’s been happening over the last several weeks.”

Deese continued, “The reason for the Defense Production Act now is we want to make sure that manufacturers can maintain and stay at that 100% capacity. We don’t want any manufacturer, now that they have ramped up, to be in a place where, for example, they can’t get the bottles that they need to fulfill an order or they can’t get an input that they need to fill an order. Having the flexibility of the Defense Production Act now in place will ensure that they can stay at this high rate of production going forward.”

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Jankowicz: ‘Ironic’ Disinformation Board Killed by Disinformation

Jankowicz: ‘Ironic’ Disinformation Board Killed by Disinformation

Nina Jankowicz said Wednesday on MSNBC’s “All In” that the Department of Homeland Security’s new Disinformation Governance Board was disbanded because of disinformation.

Jankowicz was supposed to lead the now-dissolved board.

Jankowicz said, “All these sensationalized narratives about what people thought the board was going to do was completely wrong. It was a coordinating mechanism. It was meant to make sure that the very large agency that is the Department of Homeland Security, that people were talking to each other within it. Let me give you an example, FEMA, the agency that handles disasters and environmental issues, would often encounter misinformation about natural disasters. Let’s say an adversary like Iran or China would put out a false narrative like this is how you get out of the city, or this is where you can find disaster aid. That could put people really into danger, their lives into danger. That’s the sort of disinformation and misinformation that we were looking to support the department in addressing, to make sure they had best practices, and most importantly, to protect Americans’ freedom of speech, civil liberties, and privacy while we are doing all that work. So, every characterization of the board that you heard up until now has been incorrect, and frankly, it’s kind of ironic that the board itself was taken over by disinformation when it was meant to fight it.”

She continued, “I’ve been a really nuanced, reasonable person, again, as I said, I briefed and advised both Republicans and Democrats. I admired some of steps even the Trump administration took to combat disinformation.”

She added, “To say that I am just a partisan actor wildly out of context.”

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FDA Commissioner: ‘Don’t Think We Need the Defense Production Act’ – ‘There Is Formula out There’ 

FDA Commissioner: ‘Don’t Think We Need the Defense Production Act’ – ‘There Is Formula out There’ 

On Monday’s broadcast of ABC’s “Good Morning America,” FDA Commissioner Dr. Robert M. Califf argued that invoking the Defense Production Act isn’t needed to fix the baby formula shortage because baby formula manufacturers have already increased production, there has been more formula purchased over the last month than the month before the recall, and “there is formula out there. It’s just not in the right place at the right time.” Because of supply chain disruptions due to Abbott shutting down one of its plants.

Califf stated, “I don’t think we need the Defense Production Act. I think the manufacturers are ready to go. And they’re going to increase their production. In fact, they already have. Importantly, there’s been more formula bought, about 10% more in the last month, than in the month before the recall. So, there is formula out there. It’s just not in the right place at the right time. So, this issue of the supply chain, and how it gets disrupted when a major manufacturer has to shut down a plant is a real lesson for all of us that we’re working on rectifying, but it is taking just basic work to get the supply chain right.”

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Pelosi Calls on Private Companies to Provide Travel for Abortions

Pelosi Calls on Private Companies to Provide Travel for Abortions

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union” that “of course” private companies should provide travel expenses for their employees to receive an abortion in a state where it is legal if Roe v Wade was overturned by the Supreme Court.

Anchor Dana Bash said, “What can you do to help women who will be seeking abortions, but live in states where it’s banned For example, would you encourage private companies to provide travel for abortions as a health benefit?”

Pelosi said, “Well, of course, that, but the fact is we, as a country — this is — let’s just put this in perspective. What we want women and families and everyone to focus on is the nature of this decision. This is — our country, the genius of our founders was to have a Constitution that enabled freedom to expand. And it did with marriage equality, it did with Roe v. Wade, in many ways, defining freedom more fully.”

She continued, “This is the first time the court has taken back a freedom that was defined by precedent and respect for privacy. So, let’s stay focused on who we are as the country and not turn into something where we have to depend on the privacy. I think that’s all good. It’s helpful to the women, and that’s important. But it’s also important to know that this is not right. This is not the path of freedom for our country. So they’re putting freedom on the ballot. And our democracy has been on the ballot because of what they have — are doing to elections.”

Pelosi added, “But this is a place where freedom and the kitchen table issues of America’s families come together. What are the decisions that a family makes? What about contraception for young people? It’s just beyond a particular situation. It’s massive, in terms of contraception, in vitro fertilization, again, a woman’s right to decide. And it’s OK — we want to mitigate for the damage, but we have to get rid of the damage.”

When asked about Roe v Wade potentially being overturned by the Supreme Court, Pelosi said, “Who would have ever suspected that a creature like Donald Trump would become president of the United States by waving a list of judges he would appoint, therefore, getting the support of the far-right — and appointing those anti-freedom justices to the court. So, this is not about long game. We played a long game. We won Roe v. Wade a long time ago. We voted to protect it over time.”

She continued, “Let’s not take our eye off the ball. The ball is this court, which is dangerous to the freedoms of our country. Beware in terms of marriage equality, beware in terms of other aspects of it, and so it is. Let’s not waste our time on that. The fact is, this is a dangerous court to families, to freedom in our country. And that is why people have to mobilize. My saying is we don’t agonize. We organize, we go out there and make sure people know that if they, actually elections have consequences.”

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NY Gov. Hochul: We Need National Laws to Deal with Guns, Social Media

NY Gov. Hochul: We Need National Laws to Deal with Guns, Social Media

Governor Kathy Hochul (D-NY) said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union” that national laws for guns and social media were needed after a gunman opened fire in a Buffalo, N.Y. supermarket, killing 10 people on Saturday.

Hochul said, “They need to be called out. And leaders elected officials from both parties need to stand up at this moment and call it out and to shame it and to make sure these people crawl back into their holes and stay there. This cannot be part of our mainstream dialogue here in the United States of America. Leaders have a responsibility to call it out.”

She added, “As a leader of the state of New York, I also have a responsibility to make sure we protect people with respect to guns. We have some of the toughest laws in America on the books here, but the guns are coming in from other states or the enhanced magazine, which is exactly what happened here, the high-capacity magazine that led to the slaughter of people in my hometown. So, we are dealing with it on the gun side but also on the social media side. And the combination of the wild access to guns, unfettered, we need national laws to deal with this as well as the unfettered sharing of hate information on the internet, that is a lethal combination. We saw that on display here just hours ago yesterday.”

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