A spokesperson for the Department of Transportation confirmed that Buttigieg was “mostly offline” throughout this tumultuous time period.
“For the first four weeks, he was mostly offline except for major agency decisions and matters that could not be delegated,” said the spokesperson. “He has been ramping up activities since then.”
The spokesperson added that Buttigieg will “continue to take some time over the coming weeks to support his husband and take care of his new children.”
The White House did not confirm if President Biden approved the leave himself.
“Pete’s been a key member of the team since Day One, and has been critical as we shepherd the President’s agenda across the finish line,” an official told Politico. “We’re overjoyed for him and Chasten, and believe every American should have access to paid family leave.”
This past Wednesday, Buttigieg reportedly attended a “high-profile meeting” with President Joe Biden to discuss the ongoing supply chain crisis that will likely result in empty shelves at major and small retail outlets this holiday season – a prospect resulting in the hashtag #EmptyShelvesJoe trending on Twitter Thursday.