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A Majority Have Been Personally Affected by Supply Shortages, While Biden Administration Laughs It Away

AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

The Trafalgar Group on Wednesday released a poll in the midst of supply shortages to gauge how many Americans have been personally affected by them, one of the many crises facing the Biden administration. "Are you personally encountering delays or shortages when attempting to purchase common consumer products," it asks.

More respondents have been personally affected by shortages than have not, and by double digits. A majority, of 53.7 percent have been affected while 35.8 percent have not. Those who are unsure make up 10.5 percent.

When broken down by political party, two-thirds of Republicans have been personally affected, 67.7 percent to 22.0 percent who have not and 10.4 percent who are unsure. A slim majority of those without political party affiliation have been personally affected by 50.6 percent, while 37.0 percent have not, and 12.4 percent are unsure. 

Even a significant amount of Democrats have been personally affected. A plurality, at 48.3 percent, say they have not been personally affected, while 42.4 percent have, and 9.2 percent are unsure.

The poll was conducted October 15-18 with 1,079 respondents and a margin of error of plus or minus 2.99 percent. Convention of States Action partnered for this poll.

While a majority of all Americans have been personally affected, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki laughs it off, as she did when answering a reporter's question on Tuesday.

The crisis has occurred while Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg has been on paternity leave. One serious example of spin has featured the White House making this about commentary on paid family leave. 

Psaki even twisted around a question from Emerald Robinson, a White House correspondent for Newsmax:

Q    Thanks.  I have follow-ups on a couple of topics.  First off, Secretary Buttigieg: Given the seriousness of the — the supply chain crisis and the multiple issues that you outlined, wouldn’t it be wise for the Secretary to get back on the bicycle, so to speak, and come back to work?  A new poll found that 65 percent of voters think that given what’s going on, he should come back to work. 

MS. PSAKI:  He’s at work. 

Q    He’s on paternity leave.

MS. PSAKI:  I was on a conference call with him this morning.

Q    So, he’s back?  He’s in — he’s in the department now, every day?

MS. PSAKI:  Listen, Emerald, I think what you’re getting at here is this question about whether men, parents, women should have paternity and maternity leave.  And the answer is absolutely yes, in our view. 

That is the policy of this administration.  That is what we’re pressing to make law so it’s a reality for women, parents, fathers across the country.  And we’re not going to back away from that.

Q    Well, this is a little different job than a lot of — and as one of my colleagues noted, we knew the supply chain issues were coming. 

On a different —

MS. PSAKI:  Well, Emerald, just to be clear, we are quite confident in the capabilities, the talents of the civil servants, the leadership at the Department of Transportation, just are — as we are at companies across the country where women, men take maternity and paternity leave.

I took 12 weeks of maternity leave when I was the White House Communications Director, and I’m grateful to former President Obama for that and for leadership at the time for that. 

This is something men, women should have.  They should have this time to bond with their children.  Not going to apologize from that — for that from here.  And, certainly, we are able to get the job done for the American people in the interim.

Q    And one last on that topic: Who was the point person?  Who was the main person in charge in his paternity leave?

MS. PSAKI:  There are a range of officials leading different components at the Department of Transportation, including the Chief of Staff, the Deputy Secretary of Transportation, a range of officials who keep that place humming, functioning every single day.

Psaki also tried to frame it as a good thing, even, during Tuesday's press conference:

So, I think the important thing to understand here is that there are multiple issues that are impacting the supply chain.  And some of that is that, as the economy has turned back on, more people had expendable income — wages — to buy more goods.  More people are buying more goods.  People have started to also buy more things online than going into stores.  And so that is also impacting the volume, and there’s a need for more.

This seems to be a consistent message for the administration now, considering she's said inflation is a good thing too. 

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