US Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg predicted on Sunday that supply chain issues plaguing multiple industries at the moment are going to continue as long as the coronavirus pandemic does.
Confronted about the supply chain issues by Fox News’ Chris Wallace – including the fact that standstills at the Port of Los Angeles have only worsened after it began operating on a 24/7 basis – Buttigieg could only say that businesses should expect relief from the issues when the pandemic ends as the problems are a “direct” results of the virus’ strain on the world
“Look, there are so many things that are still happening in our economy – distortions, disruptions, things in our supply chain that are affecting prices that are clearly a direct consequence of the pandemic,” Buttigieg, who recently faced heavy backlash for taking months-long paternity leave amid the crisis, said.
The “best thing” to do for the economy, the former mayor said, is to “put the pandemic behind us” by getting more people inoculated.
“For the very short term, there are steps we can take in [and] around the ports that we think are helping. In the medium term, again at risk of repeating myself, if we really want to see all of these disruptions [end], we got to end the pandemic. That’s what getting everybody vaccinated is all about,” he said.
Buttigieg has also touted Biden’s massive infrastructure spending bills that have been stuck in congressional negotiations as a way to partly relieve supply chain and inflation issues by pumping money into infrastructure and social programs like childcare that would help people get back to work. In a Sunday CNN interview, Buttigieg referred to “often outdated” infrastructure used to transport goods.
“Fundamentally, it’s up to the producers, the shippers and the retailers and we’re doing everything we can to help them move those goods across the infrastructure that’s often outdated,” he said.