Boots & Sabers

The blogging will continue until morale improves...


Everything but tech support.

2009, 13 May 22

Biden’s Not a Mind Reader

I don’t think the man can read his own mind at this point. But seriously… this is leading?

President Joe Biden on Friday lashed out at critics as he defended his administration’s actions to relieve the infant formula shortage that has panicked parents worried about feeding their babies.


‘If we’d been better mind readers, I guess we could have,’ Biden said when asked if his administration should have acted sooner.


Biden was speaking at an event on community policing and said he would only speak on that topic before – somewhat grumpily – conceding to talk about formula shortages.


‘I’ll answer the baby from the question because all of a sudden it’s on the front page of every newspaper,’ he said.


2009, 13 May 2022


  1. MjM

    Read minds? He can’t even read yesterday’s news.

    “We’re going to be in a matter of weeks – or less – getting significantly where more formula is on shelves,’ – Babblin’ Joe, today.

    “From the time we restart the site, it will take six to eight weeks before product is available on shelves.”. – Abbott Labs, yesterday.

    As you all (except BJ) know, Abbott ‘s formula factory in Michigan was shut down by the FDA in February. Six babies, over the course of a yea+, contracted bugs (salmonella and some other crazy-named). Two died. The only connection was the three different types of formula consumed were made by Abbott.

    Abbott recalled their formula but three weeks later they were cleared as the source of the bugs. Indeed, in one case the crazy-named bug was found in a bottle of distilled water used to mix with the powder. Yet, the FDA did not authorize Abbott to resume production.

    Last December the formula shortage was running about 8%. By February, before Abbot, the USA’s largest formula producer, was shutdown, it stood at 31%. Why would that be? Because the BJ Admin was buying it up to stock the border for illegal aliens. And today it was learned that BJ has also been sending plane loads of the stuff to Ukraine. By April, the shortage hit 40%.

    The question is: why has the FDA kept Abbott shut down for so long? Have you seen the photo of the fully stocked formula on the shelf at the border? The formula shown is a Wal-Mart store brand made by Michigan-based Perrigo. Perrigo makes 50% of all store branded health products in the USA. CVS, Costco, Walgreens, Target, etc..

    Makes one wonder.

  2. Merlin

    This must be yet another facet of the Build Back Better strategy. Someone must have determined that feeding live babies is also an inconvenience that needs to be remedied. Is this gross incompetence or malevolent intent? I find it hard to believe any one group of people is this fucking stupid. How bad do things have to get before incompetence is no longer an acceptable rationale for their actions?

    Wanna bet Orange Man Bad would not have settled for such a response from either the FDA or Abbott? Yes, boots in asses and mean tweets. Yes, many delicate sensibilities offended.

    I know I’ve said it before, but Dems are behaving as if they believe they will never face electoral consequences. There’s a lot not right here.

  3. Tuerqas

    Well, if you can’t abort ’em by law…

  4. jonnyv

    Wait, so Trump creates a trade policy making it MORE DIFFICULT for us to get baby formula from Canada to help benefit the US companies. Then one of the 4 major companies has a contamination and it cascades down to US families. America First policies in action!

    And the Biden administration is now offering to help with logistics such as distribution for existing manufacturers to help get the flow moving. And working with the FDA to help get Abbott up and running under (hopefully) better conditions. Sounds a lot like this administration cleaning up after a mess the last administration helped cause.

  5. Jason

    Last month, however, the FDA and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told NBC News none of the bacterial strains taken at the Abbott plant matched those collected from the infants, and the agencies haven’t offered an explanation for how the contamination occured.,company%20said%20in%20a%20statement.

    I know! I’m a simple minded fool like jv, I’ll praise Biden and blame it on Trump. What a turnip you are.

  6. Tuerqas

    Ah, the old ‘one side to every story’ routine from fake and slanted news stories. So JonnyV, you are against any laws aiding American businesses? Canadian facilities are all so much cleaner than American facilities? It is funny how you don’t trust the FDA either, as they can’t investigate Canadian facilities and you are good with that, but you trust the continued shutdown of Abbott labs, proven to NOT be the source of the contaminations it was shut down and recalled product for; done by the order of the FDA.
    And the Biden admin offer to help the problem its choices caused, is not as exciting to me as it is to you. I (and I’d bet 95% of non-diehard liberals in the US) see it not as a clean up of the former administration, but as grouchy reparations for a Government run agency (hopefully) screw up. I say hopefully because in case you haven’t noticed, Dem politicians that you voted for have purposely caused job shortages, purposely caused oil shortages. It is not a stretch to think that this was caused purposely as well. The current administration oversees its agencies decisions.

    If every company given FDA violations had to close down while it fixed any and all violations, we would have ten times the supply chain issues we have right now, and that is saying a lot. Once cleared of the accusations against their formula, production should have been allowed to begin again immediately, even while the violations were being addressed as in every other instance that happens every minute in any business the FDA gets to interfere in.

    You can still be a liberal and recognize the deeds liberal politicians are doing. Heck, I don’t even care if you agree with them. The Dems gave extra money to millions not to work and their public reasoning was so that the national minimum wages would rise. They said their oil denial policies are to encourage non-fossil fuel growth. Fuck the working class fueling their economy today.
    Great. Their voting Demographics were helped at the expense of the middle and lower middle class. Personally I think it is sick, the Government controls they are exerting for power, but I don’t fault you for your beliefs. Just don’t fabricate stupidities about the causes. Recognize them and agree (or disagree) as you see fit.

  7. Tuerqas

    One other thing I would like to elaborate on because you are using it as a slight on Trump, and by extension the right as a whole.. Do you understand that American businesses CAN’T compete with most other countries with most goods, primarily because of our standard of living and heavy Government regulation? Do you understand that baby formula could be made at a fraction of the cost (and oversight) in Vietnamese, Indian, Chinese facilities? Do you understand that from WWII until Trump, China got to have tariffs on most of our products we tried to sell them had little to none on products they sold to us? Do you think these are all good things or bad?

    You are arguing for the US to be a non-productive country that buys everything from other countries at willingly paid deficits because the seller nations don’t regulate their labor and costs are so much lower. Do you realize that this is your argument and do you really believe that?

  8. Merlin

    >Do you think these are all good things or bad?

    The crux of the problem is that they don’t think. At least not critically and logically.

  9. jonnyv

    Tuerqas. I support regulations that will make us safer & cleaner. Whether that be the food we consume, or the employees that work. Finding the right balance is always the key. I have said it again and again, corporations have ZERO care about the people or environment. Their main goal is to create a profit, and will do virtually anything to cut costs to do that. It has been repeated time and time again. If they can pollute or endanger, and the bottom line STILL goes up after whatever fines they get… they have no care.

    As far as the Abbott facility, it had previous violations. The strains did NOT match what affected the children, correct. But, back in October there was also a whistleblower who claimed that other health and safety issues were happening and a possible cover up of them. THEN the FDA found OTHER bacteria issues with the plant. So, call me crazy, but I am happy that it is shut down and being remediated before we see any additional issues with formula. I hope that it gets back up SAFELY soon.

    I wasn’t attacking the “ENTIRE” right, just the specific Trump “America First” policy. You realize that baby formula is held to a slightly higher standard in many OTHER areas of the world. Specifically EU? And that we don’t allow the importing of much of that. Most likely as a hand out to large US corporations.

    Did the DEMS give extra money to millions? Or was that Trump and the right as well? Trump signed the CARES act that added additional to unemployment and stimulus. And I am NOT saying I disagree with the stimulus decision. But, as we saw the PPP had billions? of dollars of fraud. Don’t lump one side in as being the side of “hand outs”.

    You do realize that the China tariffs HURT Americans. Right? Estimated 80B in extra taxes on those items? The actual tariffs only helped a small portion of Americans in some sectors. Creating minimal jobs.

  10. Randall Flagg

    While the Biden administration certainly bears some of the blame for this shortage, Trump does as well.

    “Canada’s strong dairy industry has attracted investment in formula production. But the Trump Administration sought to protect domestic producers by imposing quotas and tariffs on Canadian imports in the USMCA trade deal. ”

    Also a good read:

  11. dad29

    I have said it again and again, corporations have ZERO care about the people or environment.

    That’s a category error. “Corporations” do not ‘have’ care. Only PEOPLE care (or not.)

    And FDA’s labeling requirements are ALSO preventing import of formula from EU. Label regs are not something Trump came up with.

  12. Owen

    Just a reminder, folks… comments with multiple links will automatically put your comment in the spam filter. I do not receive a proactive notification when this happens, so your comment will sit in spam until I happen to log in and notice it.

  13. Jason

    >Just a reminder, folks… comments with multiple links will automatically put your comment in the spam filter. I do not receive a proactive notification when this happens, so your comment will sit in spam until I happen to log in and notice it.

    In other words, you’re also not a mind reader? :)

  14. Merlin

    >And FDA’s labeling requirements are ALSO preventing import of formula from EU. Label regs are not something Trump came up with.

    Bingo! Nutrition labeling standards are not universal. In North America alone the US, Canada, and Mexico all have food labeling requirements unique enough that product labeling for export must meet the requirements of the destination market. Same product, different packaging.

  15. Tuerqas


    “You do realize that the China tariffs HURT Americans. Right?”

    You do realize you are trying to get the advantage for both sides of the argument, right? The ‘China tariffs’ that Trump fought were the favorable trade tariffs from China on American goods that had been on our goods since WWII. He imposed some tariffs on Chinese exports coming to America because China continued to refuse to reduce or remove their tariffs on American goods. The tariffs he imposed largely on steel goods did hurt Americans that were buying them (largely parts to finish various goods), and the consumers of the finished goods. But just allowing China to impose stiff tariffs on most of our goods (large enough to prevent buying our goods in many categories) while buying theirs without tariffs hurt Americans too, and that little nugget is conveniently left out of all the lefty analysis. They take the raw numbers that do not include the previous trade deals as deficit increase factors and simply show that we have increased deficits with all countries as a whole.
    The trade balance has decreased with China and that is a desired goal with a rival superpower. In recent history, our entire trade imbalance world-wide has been more than 50% from China. Last year it was about 33%. Now the fact that our imports moved to other countries rather than to American businesses at home reflects on the American barriers to starting new manufacturing businesses in America, I would agree. However, China is not our friend, Russia is not our friend, so I would much rather pay more to other smaller countries than continue to allow China the advantages they have received from us in the past. China the backwards nation of rice farmers needed our help after WWII. 21st century China does not and if they want to be a superpower, work on the same levels as other superpowers.

    Left sources are required to blame Trump, but calling it wrong headed and saying that tariff balancing is not really a factor and that it is all (undescribed) macroeconomic factors is not accurate (and not a surprise from slanted media). You and they say that American businesses have actually borne all the burdens of the tariffs, I would disagree. And again slanted media of both sides leaving out key facts can make most any “No” sound like “Yes” on just about any topic. The media does not flat out lie like politicians, for the most part. They just report the facts that support their political owners. Read about a topic by a left and right source and don’t just discount the supporting data as lies and you will find key facts in both articles that are just not in the other article. Not disproven, just omitted…

  16. jonnyv

    Dad29, you are right. Trump had nothing to do with the EU formula import/export and labeling. I never claimed he did. My guess as to why there isn’t more of an effort to get EU formula (after labeling issues) imported is the cost that it would have to be sold at after transport couldn’t compete with domestic formula.

    Also Dad29, corporations are legally treated as “persons” by law. So I have no issue personifying them and saying that “they” don’t care.

  17. Tuerqas

    “I have said it again and again, corporations have ZERO care about the people or environment. ”

    I agree. And yet, for the right amount of money to someone, the FDA has approved drugs in our meat that even China won’t import. You said there was a whistleblower and it had previous violations, but it was not shut down. So they did not have enough to shut Abbott down, but they them shut down by mistake and then kept them shutdown for four extra months…why?

    “Did the DEMS give extra money to millions? Or was that Trump and the right as well? Trump signed the CARES act that added additional to unemployment and stimulus.”

    Trump’s was signed while our economy was under Government required quarantine and people needed it because they were not allowed to work. They were renewed by Dems multiple times after Americans were largely cleared to work again and in amounts intended to incentivize people to delay going back to work. To me that is apples and oranges, but if you think it is a good comparison you can keep it with you. You may as well compare a tax that was imposed in 1896 and again in 2020, imo.

  18. jonnyv

    Tuerqas. I am not here to argue that the FDA is without fault. Like every gov’t agency, there are probably corrupt people who take money from corrupt corporations who write laws for corrupt lawmakers.

    My understanding is they shut it down because they found 5 different strains of something called “cronobacter” at the facility. Not because of the initial whistleblower complaint. The whistleblower just got them INTO the factory. It sounds like the shutdown was rightfully done (not by mistake), probably too late honestly.

  19. Tuerqas

    My understanding is that they shut Abbott down and a recall was issued because of 4 serious bacterial infections causing 2 infant deaths. Those infections turned out not to have come from Abbott labs. My computer got attacked from one of these B&S comment links so I am not looking at them anymore. You are saying the shutdown did not have anything to do with the deaths they were accused of causing, but your link ends with “plant-tied-to-outbreak/”. Which outbreaks did the whistleblower point to? Because I have not seen any talk of other outbreaks in any of the articles I called up on my own browser. I have only found that they have been cleared of causing the one outbreak that has been publicized. Are there different outbreaks that they WERE responsible for causing that got them shut down? If not, I believe the disconnect here is that you are not accepting that Abbott was shut down because of the deaths they were accused of and later exonerated for. Not sure why…

    You are flat wrong on the whistleblower getting them into the factory. The death complaints got them into the factory. In fact, the whistleblower submitted their report in April 2021, the recall and shutdown occurred in Feb 2022, and were specifically because of the 4 serious infant illnesses and deaths. The deaths got the FDA into the facility, 100%. The sitting on their heels doing nothing for so long got them reprimanded and no doubt is part of why the FDA has kept them closed down. Biden don’t like bad press on his Government, especially just before new legislation taking over more control of our lives is being introduced.

  20. dad29

    Another piece of the puzzle is that Abbott (allegedly) had been playing fast-and-loose with various FDA-required reports. Nothing earth-shaking, but an irritant to FDA, which fueled FDA’s long shutdown order. They were PO’d and had the muscle, so they knelt on Abbott’s neck for a while.

    Long before Trump, the industry consolidated down to three players–the ones who could afford the lawyers, instruments, technicians (et al) required by constantly-increasing FDA regulations. There’s always a question of whether Abbott pushed those regs to eliminate competitors, or whether FDA’s requirements are excessively burdensome and the small players dropped out to pursue more profitable biz.

    JonnyV: assuming you were smart enough to form an LLC, that means that YOU are EVIL, per your own remarks here in the combox. All this time I thought you were seriously misguided! Turns out you’re evil, instead.

  21. Jason

    >Tuerqas. I am not here to argue that the FDA is without fault. Like every gov’t agency, there are probably corrupt people who take money from corrupt corporations who write laws for corrupt lawmakers.

    But you placed all blame on trump and you completely exonerated Biden in your first comment. You really have no clue and are just windmilling around as the adults talk. Damn.

  22. jonnyv

    Jason, you are AGAIN trying to put words in my mouth. I didn’t completely blame Trump for this. But he is partially to blame for this shortage due to his policy. This is a Biden problem now. He needs to work on getting it fixed as fast as possible.

    And Jason, there are very few adults on this website. I sit back and watch you all call each other childish names back and forth, including you.

    It has a pretty good breakdown on it.

    Dad29, you are trying to put words in my mouth as well. I didn’t say that corporations were EVIL. I said they don’t care. I have a few different LLCs. I also said that CORPORATIONS (not LLCs) don’t care. Corporations are beholden to shareholders and a bottom line. LLCs are owned by individuals. Maybe someday I will be lucky and can turn my tiny LLCs into huge uncaring corporations and take the money and run. Doubtful, but we can only hope.

  23. Jason

    Wrong jv, I based my statement on what you wrote and only what you wrote. What you meant, what you thought, what crumbs you have in your keyboard are meaningless. You blamed only one person, and you exonerated another… fact.

    As far as arstechnica’s article…. lets dissect one section for a second.

    >C. sakazakii is not a reportable disease in this country, Susan Mayne, director of the FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, emphasized in the press briefing. That means when cases occur, outbreak investigations are not quickly initiated, and health officials don’t spring to collect bacterial isolates, begin genetic sequencing, and identify clinical clusters as they do for other concerning pathogens. As a result, the FDA and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention only have genetic sequences from two of the four sick infants. And overall, there are only about 238 genetic sequences of C. sakazakii strains in the CDC’s database, which is an extremely small number compared with other pathogens, such as E.coli, making genetic investigations difficult.


    >”Right from the get-go we were limited in our ability to determine with a causal link whether or not the consumption of the product from the Abbott Sturgis plant was linked to these four cases,” Mayne said.


    >Mayne also pointed out that the FDA isolated multiple strains of C. sakazakii from the environment inside the Sturgis plant when they were doing testing, which was after the cases were identified. “There certainly is the possibility that other strains that we didn’t detect at the time we were in the plant for the inspection certainly could have been in there.”


    >Frank Yiannas, the FDA’s deputy commissioner for Food Policy and Response, echoed the point, saying that the genetic data for C. sakazakii in this outbreak and overall is minimal. “It’s hard to read too much into that,” he said. He also highlighted that there was a diversity of strains at the plant—five different lineages—and noted there are examples in the scientific literature of multi-strain outbreaks over time from one source.


    >”The other thing we’ve heard emphasized quite a bit is that these products have been tested” and most tested negative for C. sakazakii, Yiannas said. But that also is not meaningful. Some of the end batches of formula are 400,000 to 500,000 pounds, but the end-product testing plans only involve a series of 30 samples that are 10 grams each, collectively less than a pound, Yiannas said. “The probability of detecting low levels of contamination through an end-product testing plan—it’s almost never going to happen,” he said. “Some statisticians calculate there’s a 97 percent chance that you won’t find low levels of contamination using that type of sampling plan.”


    >Overall, he said, “an over-reliance on end-product testing is not really the best way to assure food safety; it’s really about process control.”


    Funny how they “shred the defense” by saying the data doesn’t support as a way to say the lack of data DOES support the opposite. Lack of data is lack of data. Something we all know you’re intimately familiar with jv.

    >Dad29, you are trying to put words in my mouth as well

    Again, he’s responding to your written word. Funny how you’ll equivocate about CORPORATIONS and LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY as if Size is the sole determinator of greed or “uncaring”. You’re as bad as the FDA right now bub.

  24. dad29


    Limited Liability CORPORATION.

    Uncaring Bas***d you are.

  25. dad29

    Limited liability is a type of legal structure for an organization where a corporate loss will not exceed the amount invested in a partnership or limited liability company (LLC). In other words, investors’ and owners’ private assets are not at risk if the company fails. In Germany, it’s known as Gesellschaft mit beschränkter Haftung (GmbH).

    The limited liability feature is one of the biggest advantages of investing in publicly listed companies. While a shareholder can participate wholly in the growth of a company, their liability is restricted to the amount of the investment in the company, even if it subsequently goes bankrupt and has remaining debt obligations.

    Smooth. Un-caring? You betcha!!

  26. Tuerqas

    >Limited Liability CORPORATION.


    Limited Liability COMPANY.

    The LL part still helps separate liability from the owner and his/her assets, but it is not a corporation…

  27. Tuerqas

    JonnyV, I did not see much of an obliteration in your article either. The whole testing one pound out of 400,000 lbs does sound ridiculous, but the back testing of the formulae in the infected homes (a pound or two each?) only showed any virus in one of the four opened formulae and it did not match the killing strain per the facts in your article. That is what exonerates Abbott to me of the infant deaths. AND that article begins with blaming Abbott for the 4 deaths, not with a whistleblower note which supports my argument of why they were shut down and ‘obliterates’ yours.

    Remember the good old days when children were allowed to come into contact with dirt and germs, kids had chicken pox parties, and adults had a multitude more immunities than they do today?

    I don’t know what Krono whatever virus is, but isn’t a little telling that the article begins with the fact that the strains are not a ‘reportable disease’ and that the answer is ‘relaxing’ restrictions on out of country sources?

    Relaxing restrictions is normally a liberal war cry AGAINST any changers to regulations, but if you can blame Trump, relax away all.

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