Joe Biden’s Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg has come under scrutiny in recent days regarding the federal government’s response to a variety of air travel issues that have affected commerce and travel.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) grounded all air traffic last Wednesday for the first time since September 11, 2001. Officials blamed a “corrupted file” for the shutdown of the FAA’s computer network.
In December, weather conditions led to a cascading failure of Southwest Airlines’ internal systems that caused around 13,000 flight cancellations during the extremely busy Christmas travel season.
.@BretBaier: "You kept a low profile during the Southwest debacle…You were in Portugal during the rail strike crisis. You were on paternity leave during the 2021 supply chain crisis…how do you address that criticism?"
BUTTIGIEG: "It's nonsense." pic.twitter.com/tLGKrhzMEw
— Townhall.com (@townhallcom) January 5, 2023
“Mayor Pete” had no experience or credentials other than Democratic connections and identity politics to support his nomination, but he largely escaped any scrutiny from the corporate media until recently. New reporting now indicates his earlier absenteeism during the worst parts of the supply-chain crunch during the COVID-19 pandemic was more pronounced than previously thought.
Newly revealed documents show Buttigieg avoided taking phone calls or making any public appearances while he was on eight weeks of paternity leave with his husband.
Non-profit government watchdog organization Protect the Public’s Trust obtained the documents through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. They show the Transportation Secretary avoided his official duties entirely while on leave in 2021.
In September of that year, Buttigieg and his husband, Chasten, adopted twin infants.
An email from one of Buttigieg’s staffers to the office of Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), while he was on leave, indicates the secretary declined a request to discuss federal bridge construction funding.
In declining the request for a conversation, the staffer offered no hope that Buttigieg would ever make himself available to do his job. The email stated: “Unfortunately, the Secretary is currently on leave due to the birth of his twins, and that may lead to a delay in possibly scheduling in the future.”
Other documents reported by Protect the Public’s Trust show that Buttigieg ignored his cabinet-level duties to the country by citing his paternity leave. He appears to have been completely absent and out of communication for the full eight weeks he took leave. His time off was longer than the time 70% of fathers of newborn children take off of work.
Even though he appears to have been unavailable for his ordinary duties, he told CNN that “when you take a job like mine, you understand and accept that you’re going to have to be available 24/7, depending on what’s going on, and you’re going to have to engage.”
He said that meant “taking a phone call or making a decision from a hospital room.”
Buttigieg was absent from work during the time Congress was discussing the massive infrastructure bill that allocated over $100 billion for transportation projects. His leave also took place during the supply chain crisis that has in part contributed to the prolonged inflation that has hammered ordinary Americans.