Numerous Republicans and members of conservative media have blamed the supply chain crisis on the Biden administration, as U.S. ports have backed up with shipping vessels unable to deliver their goods, causing a surge in inflated prices at stores and mass shortages nationwide.
Food prices have reached their highest level in a decade as the coronavirus continues to wreak havoc on businesses left reeling from a labor shortage and issues within the supply chain.
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations released data showing that the FAO Food Price Index, defined as "a measure of the monthly change in international prices of a basket of food commodities," had risen by 1.5 points from August to September, with an average of 130.0 points in September. In addition, compared to the same time last year, the FFPI had risen by 32.1 points, or 32.8%, the highest it's been since 2011's FFPI of 131.9.
Among the commodities measured by the FFPI, vegetable oil saw the highest increase at 60% compared to the following year and up by 1.2% from the previous month. Cereal prices saw the second-largest jump in food prices, rising 27.3% from the same month last year, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported seeing a 3% increase in its Consumer Price Index, which measures grocery prices, according to data from August. Over the course of 12 months, the price for all household and grocery products increased by 5.3%.
"#EmptyShelvesJoe just hit the number 1 trend nationwide amid Biden's supply chain crisis," Human Events senior editor Jack Posobiec tweeted.
Tennessee state Sen. Frank Niceley criticized press secretary Jen Psaki and touted the hashtag himself.
"Yikes!!!" Donald Trump Jr. said in his own #EmptyShelvesJoe tweet.
"People are tweeting about #EmptyShelvesJoe as if the country didn't run out of toilet paper under #FullOfShitDonald," tweeted writer Frank Lesser.
"The troll farms wrote a new hashtag today #EmptyShelvesJoe, so maga moron Twitter learned the term 'supply chain.' Of course they still don't understand who controls it and what impacts it," wrote screenwriter Randi Mayem Singer.
In early September, the Biden administration announced that it was implementing new measures to combat the rise in prices on meat products such as beef, pork, and poultry, which accounted for more than 50% of the recorded price increases.
Supply chain experts are already issuing warnings to consumers to prepare ahead of the holiday shopping season, as large and small businesses alike continue to experience issues relating to labor shortages and kinks in the supply chain resulting in rising shipping costs and cargo being stuck in seaports.