Twitter Swamped by #BareShelvesBiden Amid Supply Chain Crisis — Again
Since the pandemic and supply-chain crisis began, grocery shop shortages have been nothing new in the US. But shelves appeared particularly bare this week, when the country's north was hit by the first snowstorm of the season, and the threat of additional snow in the nearest future.
The hashtag #BareShelvesBiden soared to the top of Twitter's trending topics on Sunday, as the nation's economy and consumer sector were threatened by a supply chain crisis again, for at least the second time in the past several months.
The phrase was used by social media users to chastise President Joe Biden for bare shelves and soaring prices due to recent snowstorms in the north, and partly because before Christmas, Biden had praised his administration's progress in resolving supply chain difficulties that have particularly resulted in consumer product shortages, increased prices for Americans, and contributed significantly to the country's high levels of inflation.
Users shared already well-known memes, which first began to spread back in October. Key conservative influencers on Twitter urged their followers to promote a new hashtag with reposts and likes, instead of #EmptyShelvesJoe which gained traction in late autumn.
In addition, the TikToks of the conservative blogger Shawn Farash, who is known primarily for a quite good impersonation of Trump's voice and manner of speech, went viral too.
However, most of the users who supported the hashtag sent photos of empty or half-empty shelves in their supermarkets under it.
Other users using this hashtag disproved the viral posts by sending photos of full supermarket shelves.
The trending hashtag also made users think of the Buddy Brown song from YouTube, which gained some popularity in October when delivery delays were caused by dozens of big ships stalled in traffic congestion off the Los Angeles coast, waiting to dock and discharge products such as toasters, sneakers, bicycles, and vehicles.
Overall, in a speech on the supply chain crisis late last year, Biden cited indications that bottlenecks are starting to clear, stating that retail inventories are up 3% over last year and FedEx, UPS, and the US Postal Service delivery times are "faster than before the pandemic, even as Americans have purchased a record amount of goods".
The president also mentioned that gas prices had begun to decline after skyrocketing earlier this year.
However, the Omicron variant of COVID-19 threatens to put a renewed strain on global supply systems that were thrown into disarray during the pandemic, which the administration says it is actively monitoring.
So, there might be new rounds of shelves trending on social media.