Michelle Steel Urges Biden to Act on Medical Dye Shortage

The California congresswoman is taking action to address the crisis, which is only the latest in a long line of shortages of critical goods.

Congresswoman Michelle Steel (R – CA 48th District) has led a group of 29 Republican representatives to write a letter to President Joe Biden encouraging him to take action to solve the medical dye shortage.

Medical dyes, or intravenous contrast fluids, play a crucial role in detecting and diagnosing a number of serious medical conditions, including cancer, trauma injuries, and brain and heart clots. Up to 50 million exams involving medical dyes are performed annually.

However, several brands of these dyes – including Visipaque and Omnipaque – have been in dangerously short supply, and the shortage is expected to continue into the coming months. Already, patients and institutions have been impacted; the University of Virginia, for instance, was forced to cancel several hundred medical scans as a result of the shortage.

In the letter, Steel and her fellow representatives urged the Biden administration to “immediately deploy a whole of government response and work directly with stakeholders to resolve this shortage.”

Steel and her fellow signatories attributed the shortage to “lockdowns by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and our nation’s dependency on Chinese-made medical products,” and requested that the president “prioritize efforts to domestically produce medical products such as intravenous contrast fluids and reduce federal barriers that prevent disbursement of needed medical products.”

The letter also encouraged Biden to address the larger supply chain crisis, of which the medical dye shortage is only one facet. It called for the implementation of an outbound review process to prevent the offshoring of vital medical goods.

The global supply chain shortage, along with concurrent inflation, continues to take a toll on consumers. It has come about as a direct result of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic. A variety of medical products have been affected, as well as many vital non-medical consumer goods, including gasoline, tampons, and baby formula.

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