The U. S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg is currently on the media circuit addressing concerns with the supply chain. Freshly back from paternal leave, the history-making politician has been hitting all the stops to answer questions about what the Biden administration is doing to fix things. In addition, he spoke about being a new father.
Since Buttigieg's return to work, conservatives have slammed him for taking time off to bond with and take care of the children. In a recent appearance on The View, Joy Behar asked how it felt to be a father. In addition to saying that the children were doing well, Buttigieg revealed that having twins came as a surprise.
"It's such an incredible blessing," Buttigieg said. "We didn't know it was going to be twins until about 24 hours ahead of time but they have brought so much joy into our lives. We definitely had to double everything we had been hoping for and planning for but what an unbelievable gift."
As the Secretary explained, raising them has proven a lot of work for which taking time was necessary. He also pointed out that the U.S. is "almost the only country in the world" that does not have guaranteed paid parental leave. Buttigieg said that while he was mayor of South Bend, Indiana he was able to extend six weeks of paid leave for all parents which turned out to be beneficial.
In addition, the hosts questioned Buttigieg on the supply chain shortages. Photos have gone viral of ships backed up at various ports and many have warned consumers to get their orders in extremely early in order for it to arrive in time.
"So there's no easy fix, there's no magic wand but there are a lot things we can do," Buttigieg explained. "There's three things that are causing this: supply, demand, and the pandemic. As long as the pandemic continues, we are going to see all kinds of disruptions."
Outside of the ongoing pandemic sometimes shutting down ports or factories which can break the chain, Buttigieg said that Americans have more money in their pockets that they are spending on products instead of experiences. "Actually, we have a record number of goods coming through our ports; it's not that we are moving fewer goods — we are moving more than ever — it's just not enough to keep up."
All of this is happening on top of very outdated infrastructure.
"But again, the biggest thing of all," Buttigieg said later. "The thing that would help with all of the disruptions, all of the shocks that we are seeing, is to put this pandemic behind us."