President Joe Biden – “There is a lot going on right now..”
President Joe Biden said there is little he can do to lower the cost of gasoline or food at the moment. “There is a lot going on right now but the idea we’re going to be able to click a switch, bring down the cost of gasoline, is not likely in the near term. Nor is it with regard to food,” Biden said at the White House.
The President and his team are placing a heavy emphasis on the economy to try to demonstrate his commitment amid sinking approval ratings. Biden said instead of direct action to bring down gas or food prices, he is looking to ease the financial burden in other areas, like prescription drugs and child care.
Meanwhile, Jamie Dimon, the CEO of JPMorgan Chase, is predicting an economic “hurricane” is in the near future, mainly caused by the war in Ukraine, rising inflation pressures and interest rate hikes from the Federal Reserve.
Baby formula shortage – Abbott plant shutdown
President Joe Biden conceded Wednesday, June 1, he did not understood how big of an effect the shutdown of an Abbott baby formula plant in Michigan and subsequent recalls would have on the baby formula supply until April. His admission came moments after formula manufacturers told him, during a White House roundtable on the crisis, that they knew immediately how bad the shortages could get.
The White House has previously said it had been working on addressing the shortages since February. Biden, responding to questions about how quickly the administration acted, claimed: “I don’t think anybody anticipated the impact of one facility, of the Abbott facility”.”Once we learned of the extent of it and how broad it was, we kicked everything into gear,”.
Pressed by CNN’s Kaitlan Collins on the comments from manufacturers that they knew immediately what the impact would be, Biden responded:
-“They did, but I didn’t.”
Covid-19 – Newer Omicron subvariants
New variants are poised to keep Covid-19 circulating at high levels throughout the summer, new research suggests. The next influx of infections will probably come from the newer Omicron subvariants BA.4 and BA.5, two closely related viruses that were first characterized in South Africa and that landed in the US around late March, according to the gene sequence sharing site GISAID. The CDC said BA.4 and BA.5 together accounted for an estimated 6% to 7% of new infections in the US in late May and are more likely to lead to breakthrough infections, even in people who have had Covid-19 before.
Without upgraded vaccines or boosters, some medical professionals believe a lot of Americans will get sick in the coming weeks to months.
Costing a fortune – Returning to the office
Millions of employees started working remotely after the pandemic first took hold in 2020. But now, more people are returning to the office, and they’re being greeted by much higher prices for just about everything. Food. Commuting. Daycare. Rising gas prices and soaring inflation have made going back to the office more expensive. And that is eating into workers’ incomes, especially if their pay increases aren’t keeping up.