Buttigieg Does Supply Chain Crisis Victory Lap as Grocery Shelves Go Empty

US Department of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg speaks after a tour of the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach during a press conference at the Port of Long Beach on January 11, 2022 in Long Beach, California. (Photo by Patrick T. FALLON / AFP) (Photo by PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP …
PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg was hailed as the man who “saved Christmas” on Tuesday over his handling of the supply chain crisis as Americans around the country shared photos of empty grocery shelves on social media.

Speaking at a press conference at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, Buttigieg said that while the supply chain crisis will continue throughout the pandemic, he celebrated the transportation of goods over Christmas.

“As long as the pandemic persists, as long as we are making up for decades of past disinvestment, we are going to see impacts on shipping times and shipping cost,” Buttigieg said. “When there is an issue affecting ports here, you will feel it as far away as my Indiana hometown.

“Not only is this about the presents under the tree, this is about essential goods like medical goods that are needed in this moment of continued public health challenge,” he added.

Buttigieg hailed the shipment of goods over the Christmas season as “an extraordinary achievement,” noting that the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach “processed 14 percent more containers compared to those processed in 2018 over the same time period,” according to the Hill.

“One of the reasons why Christmas was not in fact canceled is that ports like L.A. and Long Beach moved record levels or goods, allowing an all-time record high in terms of retail sales his holiday season,” he said.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti further hailed Buttigieg as the “man who saved Christmas.”

Photos around the country painted a much bleaker picture, showing empty grocery store shelves.

As CNBC noted, the supply chain crisis has severely impacted the top grocery chains, with Albertsons, Kroger, and Walmart falling below stock value.

“Albertsons shares fell 9.75% to $28.79 at market close, after the company detailed the supply chain challenges and inflated costs it’s seeing on its earnings call,” said CNBC. “The dive in its stock occurred even though the grocer raised its fiscal 2021 forecast. Shares of Kroger fell about 3%, while Walmart shed less than 1%.”

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