President Joe Biden held a meeting with baby formula producers and retailers Tuesday amidst the nationwide baby formula shortage, but members of the press received only a press briefing on the background of the meeting.

The closed-door meeting with retail companies Walmart and Target and baby formula makers Mead Johnson and Gerber occurred early Thursday afternoon. Fox News anchor John Roberts first reported that Biden would be holding a meeting to discuss the shortage, but no press would be allowed to cover the meeting. “Correction – @JoeBiden WILL hold a @whitehouse event on the baby formula shortage,” Roberts wrote on Twitter. “There will be NO COVERAGE of the event. Press corps will get a read out in a press call after the event.”

Conservatives reacted to the news, blasting Biden for a lack of transparency on such a critical issue.

  • Republican Missouri Senator Josh Hawley: “Sure. Because the American people don’t need to hear about the baby formula shortage – that’s the Biden line.”
  • Cabot Phillips, The Daily Wire: “Unbelievable. Not only has Biden taken weeks to finally address the baby formula shortage, but now he’s blocking the press from asking him questions about it.”
  • Jake Schneider, GOP Rapid Response: “Biden’s plan for tackling the massive nationwide baby formula shortage is holding an event nobody will see, then putting out a piece of paper SWEARING they’re doing something about it. I don’t think that comes as much comfort to desperate parents.”
  • Curtis Houck, Managing Editor, NewsBusters: “Absurd. And the broadcast network newscasts (and probably CNN and MSNBC) will totally just report tonight whatever Biden says like they work for Jen Psaki instead of publicly raise hell over this.”
  • Kelsey Bolar, journalist: “Sorry moms, the president doesn’t feel like talking to you about the baby formula shortage today.”

The Biden administration published a transcript of the press call late Thursday afternoon. White House Assistant Press Secretary Kevin Munoz introduced reporters to two senior Biden administration officials, who were kept anonymous by the White House. The two anonymous officials described the meeting and newly-announced administration policies to combat the ongoing crisis.

“[Today], President Biden spoke with retailers and manufacturers, including the CEOs of Walmart, Target, Mead Johnson, and Gerber to talk to them about the work they are doing and call on them to do all they can to help families purchase and access infant formula,” one of the anonymous officials said.

According to the official, Biden discussed ongoing efforts by Mead Johnson and Gerber to ramp up production, which the official claimed “has made up for the loss of production” by Abbott, whose factory shut down in February and has not been reopened — one of the major factors in the shortage. Biden also reportedly spoke to the CEOs of Walmart and Target about issues on the retail end of the supply chain, and efforts to stock shelves. The president also asked the CEOs what the administration could do to move more product to consumers, the official said.

Biden also announced a number of additional actions to help put formula back on store shelves, which he laid out in a fact sheet on the White House website.

The administration’s closed-door meeting came amidst news that the House of Representatives would hold a hearing on the shortage, but not for another two weeks, on May 25. The news prompted outrage from conservatives, as did reports that the Biden administration is shipping pallets of baby formula to the southern border instead of stores.

You Might Like
Learn more about RevenueStripe...