Biden administration Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg issued a sharp response to Republicans who've criticized him amid a global supply-chain crisis, the result of Covid-19 disruptions paired with a boom in demand.
As the head of the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT), Buttigieg oversees the nation's public transportation programs and infrastructure, which includes highway, railroad, and maritime shipping.
But in a press briefing on November 8, Buttigieg outlined how his duties have become more complicated because of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on international trade.
You can hear Buttigieg's remarks in the video below.
"The bottom line is... it's not that the ports are moving less goods, that they've somehow been less able to move. They're moving more goods than ever. It's just that it's still not keeping up with demand."
Buttigieg added though the National Retail Federation (NRF) predicts "an all-time record high this year," there is still an "enormous pressure" system of international trade making disruptions to supply chains all the more apparent nationwide.
And though he noted the COVID-19 pandemic "is poking holes" in supply chains, he said the most valuable thing people can do is get vaccinated against COVID-19.
"The best way to end a pandemic-related shortage is to end the pandemic, and that's why the vaccine push is so important."
Many praised Buttigieg's remarks.
Buttigieg was recently criticized by conservatives like Colorado Republican Representative Lauren Boebert for taking paternity leave after he and his husband, Chasten Buttigieg, welcomed newborn twins.
Boebertmocked both Buttigiegs, pointing to a picture of the happy couple as she proceeded to accuse them of exacerbating the supply-chain crisis.
"So when the supply chains crisis means you can't celebrate Christmas like Mayor Pete and Chasten, you know who to blame."
At the time, Boebert used her experience giving birth in a truck to push back against the idea of paternity leave, saying "We have a world to save."
Buttigieg has said the United States needs to rethink its attitude toward parental leave, saying a change to existing laws are "about culture as well as policy."