President Biden meets with top CEOs to discuss supply chain disruptions
The president held this routable discussion following an announcement weeks back that ports, like the Port of Los Angeles, would be operating 24/7 to accommodate a surge in demand.
TOLEDO, Ohio — Monday was a busy day for President Joe Biden, as he both urged calm regarding the new Omicron variant of COVID-19 and met with top CEOs to discuss supply chain disruptions and ways to limit the impact on consumers. Biden says there are plenty of reasons to be hopeful this holiday season, including the fact we can now gather with family as a result of the vaccine, but he acknowledges that with hope comes concerns.
During the roundtable discussion with other major corporate leaders, Walmart CEO Doug McMillon said he anticipates the holiday season going smoothly for the company, despite supply chain concerns.
“We think we’re going to have a really good holiday season. We shared our earnings results a couple weeks ago, and we told everybody that, and we shared that our inventory levels are up more than 10%. So, while we’re all concerned about the supply chain, we have more inventory than we did a year ago and have the inventory that we need to support the business,” said McMillon.
Meg Ham, president of grocery store chain Food Lion, says that her company is also running a well-ordered operation, due in part to the fact Food Lion operates its own supply chain.
“We have our own supply chain. So, we have our own distribution logistics network that helps us work with our partners to move product,” said Ham.
With regard to concerns about the new Omicron variant of COVID-19, President Biden says it’s cause for concern, and not cause for panic.
“We have the best vaccine in the world, the best medicines, the best scientists, and we’re learning more every single day. And we’ll fight this variant with scientific and knowledgeable actions and speed. Not chaos and confusion,” said Biden.
The variant, first discovered in South Africa, prompted Biden to, over the weekend, institute a travel ban, which does not apply to American citizens. The president says the goal now is to keep the variant from spreading any further here in the U.S., as many experts say it’s likely already here.
“The reason we have the restriction on travel was to give us time to, first, understand it better and second, to just intensify the things that we are already doing,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci, chief medical advisor to President Biden.
Dr. Fauci adds that transmissibility of the virus is high, which is why it’s even more important to get vaccinated and mask-up, as breakthrough cases have happened. These are cases in which vaccinated people have tested positive for COVID-19.