Biden administration secures first batch of baby formula from overseas as it navigates how to implement plans to ease shortage

A day after the White House announced its latest steps to attempt to alleviate a national shortage of infant formula, senior administration officials could not provide important details about how their new efforts will be implemented, saying they're in ongoing discussions with manufacturers about how to proceed.

President Joe Biden announced on Wednesday that he would be invoking the Defense Production Act, which allows the government more control over industrial production during emergencies, to direct suppliers of formula ingredients to prioritize delivery to the manufacturers of formula. And he established Operation Fly Formula, which directs the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Agriculture to utilize the Defense Department's commercial planes to import formula from abroad.

Officials have cautioned that invoking the DPA isn't a "magic wand" and won't increase supply instantly. And officials had also debated internally about whether invoking it would move the needle significantly on production before eventually deciding to move forward.