While there appears to be enough blame to go around, NYU Langone Medical Center professor Dr. Marc Siegel singled out China as a particularly important piece of the puzzle.
The Fox News Channel contributor told host Tucker Carlson that the communist nation’s “ridiculous lockdowns [and] COVID-zero policies cut off supply chains.”
Meanwhile, he lamented that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is “sitting limply by” without taking proactive steps to address the shortages.
“According to U.S. census, we get 95% of our imported ibuprofen from China and 74% of our Tylenol and almost all of our antibiotics,” Siegel added. “So now, what has happened? They relieve the lockdowns and in China, people are scrambling to the pharmacies trying to find Tylenol, trying to find Motrin. We’re not going to get it because they’re hoarding it over there.”
Citing a global problem he attributed to “pharmaceutical culture,” he said that concerned parents have been going to increasingly great lengths to secure medication for their children. As viral illnesses have spiked in recent months, the situation has only gotten worse amid increased demand for many drugs.
“We’re a pill-popping culture, and so here’s what happens,” Siegel told Carlson. “A parent goes to the pharmacy, they can’t get a Tylenol. Kid has a fever, they rush him to the emergency room unnecessarily, and that’s what you’ve been talking about for a long time now.”
A surge in illnesses including respiratory syncytial virus, influenza, and COVID-19 has resulted in a shortage of pediatric hospital beds in recent months.
Despite a convergence of negative trends, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre attempted to downplay the drug shortage during a recent press briefing.
Reporter: “Some Americans are struggling to find the drugs they need. What’s the administration doing about it?”
Karine Jean-Pierre: “Drug shortages are not uncommon”
— The Post Millennial (@TPostMillennial) December 5, 2022
She claimed the problem is “not uncommon” and is being handled by the FDA and Department of Health and Human Services, asserting that the Biden administration is working with pharmaceutical companies in hopes of increasing the supply.
In addition to hospital overcrowding, healthcare providers are being forced to treat patients without reliable access to the proper medication, as emergency room physician Dr. Robert Glattner recently explained.
“What was once an unthinkable situation — a shortage of basic antibiotics such as amoxicillin and Augmentin to treat ear and skin infections or even medications such as Albuterol to treat asthma — is now a harsh reality,” he said.