US Facing Massive Shortages Linked To COVID Restrictions
By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News
(Worthy News) – Americans face massive shortages of consumer goods ranging from cars to shoes ahead of Christmas as the global supply chain almost collapses due to restrictions linked to the COVID-19 pandemic, officials warned late Sunday.
“The government needs to intervene to stop this crisis immediately, or face increased inflation and unemployment, and economic breakdown,’ a logistics expert told The Daily Mail newspaper and website.
Dozens of cargo ships are anchored off the Los Angeles and New York coasts, footage showed. The vessels could be waiting up to four weeks before they can dock, according to sources familiar with the situation. The traffic jams at ports on the California and Atlantic coasts and the buildup of cargo along the coasts are also hindering the U.S. supply-chain system of railways and trucking routes.
The backlog comes amid port staff shortages. Social distancing and mandatory quarantines imposed by authorities “to halt the coronavirus” hampered the ability of port workers to carry out their duties, critics say. Adding to difficulties are reported COVID-19 deaths. Twenty members of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) allegedly died of the coronavirus forcing ports to enlist a slew of new workers to help keep pace with demand.
“Our members are tired,” Mike Podue, president of ILWU Local 63, told The Washington Post newspaper. “Our members are feeling the pain of these COVID deaths. We’re lucky there hasn’t been a major accident.”
The prospect of undelivered clothing, electronics, vehicles, shoes, exercise gear, and furniture worth billions of dollars comes as demand for consumer goods reportedly hits its highest point in history. With Americans facing international travel restrictions due to coronavirus concerns, (online) shopping at home has reached near unprecedented levels, experts say.
Railyards and trucking routes are hopelessly clogged because workers are unable the handle the ceaseless bottlenecks of cargo. Bottlenecks at ports are raising concerns there could be a shortage of goods in the run-up to Christmas, confirmed the logistics expert. “Global infrastructure was not designed to handle goods at such a rate.”
President Joe Biden has come under mounting pressure to ease restrictions, including obligatory vaccinations for millions of workers and state employees. The administration defends its actions saying the U.S. surpassed 700,000 coronavirus deaths. That figure is more than the number of Americans who died because of fighting during World War I, World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War combined. However, critics question those figures, arguing that most people who died were older people with underlying health issues.
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