Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg on Friday continued to emphasize the importance of ending the ongoing coronavirus pandemic to fix the supply chain issues around the United States.
Earlier this week, Buttigieg stressed that the “only way” to solve the supply chain issues the nation has been experiencing was “to end the pandemic.”
The transportation secretary doubled down on that remark, telling CBS’s “Mornings” that was why the White House has been pushing its vaccination campaign.
“I break it down into three parts,” Buttigieg said when asked what the Biden administration was doing to solve the issue. “First of all, we’ve got to deal with the pandemic. This is largely a pandemic-driven set of issues, so the surest way to deal with it is to end the pandemic, which is why we have this vaccination campaign and everything else we’re doing. That’s the first part.”
“The second part, of course, is that we can’t wait,” he continued. “So, there are immediate actions like what’s in the president’s port action plan. We’re seeing sweeper ships going around to pick up empty containers that are getting in the way — really creative ideas like pop-up ports that are actually inland in Georgia so you can move the containers out of where they might be blocking the path for more ships to unload and sorting them out further inland. Even fines and fees for those shippers who are leaving their containers out, which is contributing to the slowdowns and the issues. Then, we’ve got the long-term picture. We’ve got to invest in a big way in American ports and infrastructure, which is why this bipartisan infrastructure deal that just passed Congress is such a big deal. So, that’s how I would think about it, the immediate and the long term, and we’re working on both.”