Transportation secretary Pete Buttigieg appeared on The View yesterday to talk about the current supply chain crisis and what the Biden administration is doing to tackle it. However, the hosts also spoke to him about becoming a parent and his recent paternity leave, which was criticized by some.
Pete and husband Chasten revealed in August they’d been trying to expand their family, but gave no firm details. Then, at the beginning of September, they announced they’d become parents to twins through adoption.
The View co-host Joy Behar asked him how things were going with the new arrivals and how it felt adding ‘dad’ to his job description.
He said the twins were doing well and, “It’s such an incredible blessing. We didn’t know it was going to be twins until about 24 hours ahead of time but they have brought so much joy into our lives. We definitely had to double everything we had been hoping for and planning for but what an unbelievable gift.”
He continued, “You’re right, it’s a job description. It is work. I have a whole new appreciation for now that I’m living it for the work that is parenting, but it’s joyful work. And every time I look in their eyes I realize that the most important thing that Chasten and I will do in our lives is be dads to these incredible, beautiful little children, our boy and our girl.”
He went on to defend taking paternity leave and said all parents should be entitled to paid leave when a new child arrives.
“Every American ought to be able to get paid paternity leave. That’s something the President believes and has proposed. That’s something I believe. It ought to be basic. We’re almost the only country left in the world that doesn’t have some kind of policy about this.”
He went on to talk about combating the stigma around paternity leave, stressing that it’s not a vacation, it’s work.
“I mean, my workday as Secretary of Transportation starts at a relatively normal hour. My workday as a dad starts at around 3 in the morning when Chasten finally hits the sack and it’s my turn to start that first feeding. There’s still this cultural idea out there in some places that this is vacation and we just got to change that culture, but of course, we also have to change the laws.”
Concerning the supply chain issues, he said there was “no easy fix”.
“There’s no magic wand, but there are a lot of things we can do. There are three things that are causing this: supply, demand and the pandemic. And as long as the pandemic continues, we’re going to see all kinds of disruptions, right? If COVID shuts down a port in China, or a shoe factory in Vietnam in September, you’re going to notice that at the mall in December or January, which is why the biggest thing we have to do still as a country, is put the pandemic behind us.”
You can watch the full interview below. His comments about becoming a dad come at the start of the interview.