Democratic Candidate for Ohio Governor Nan Whaley is criticizing Governor Mike DeWine for 'ignoring opportunities' to help mothers and caregivers during the nationwide baby formula shortage.

During a press conference Whaley said, Ohio is one of only 11 states that have not pursued all available federal WIC waivers to help alleviate the cost of baby formula.

“This is a moral crisis. Governor DeWine must immediately take action to help Ohio families deal with the increased cost of and lack of accessibility to baby formula by applying for federal waivers that a majority of states, including those led by Republican governors, have already taken advantage of." said Whaley. "It’s unacceptable that these waivers have been available for three months and yet DeWine has done nothing. Perhaps he was too busy worrying about his primary election to pay attention to what Ohio families need. When I’m governor, Ohio families will always be my first priority."

Whaley noted, that the baby formula shortage is having a disproportionate effect on low-income families, particularly those on WIC, because they are limited to purchasing certain sizes and brands of formula.

A spokesperson for Governor DeWine fired back and said "They should be ashamed for trying to play politics regarding this real issue for Ohio mothers and children."

Earlier Wednesday, Ohio Department of Health Director Bruce Vanderhoff held a press conference in which the baby formula shortage was discussed.

"The Ohio Department of Health is very concerned about this nationwide shortage and we are doing all we can to help families who may be affected," said Vanderhoff. 

The director of Ohio Department of Health, also pointed out that Ohio's WIC program receives formula through a contract with Mead- Johnson, not Abbott  which is the company currently experiencing shortages.

"Nevertheless, at our request - the ODH's request to the USDA - we have been given approval to apply for additional waivers that are available through the USDA. We are doing this out of an abundance of precaution," said Vanderhoff. "So while additional waivers may not have an immediate impact on our WIC program, this will put Ohio in a position to possibly provide more options and flexibility to families who are in the WIC program."