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Photo: Patrick Pleul/picture alliance via Getty Images

Grocery stores across the United States are facing an on-shelf shortage of eggs, as quarantined Americans stockpile and "stress-bake," before Easter Sunday — April 12, The Washington Post reports.

The state of play: Vital Farms, the biggest supplier of naturally raised eggs in the country, shipped 15 million eggs to 13,000 groceries last week, per the Post. That's 150% more than what the company typically ships, per CEO Russell Diez-Canseco. And retailers have already burned through that extra inventory.

  • The wholesale cost of a dozen Midwest large eggs, a benchmark in the industry, jumped from $1.03 at the beginning of March to $3.09 on Thursday, CBS News reports.
  • The sale of eggs went up 44% for the week of March 14 compared to last year, according to Nielsen data.

What's needed: For farmers to increase egg production, they have to grow their flock. But that could take time, since chicks need 22 weeks to become laying hens, per the Post.

The impact: People are now purchasing chicks, The New York Times reports. Some are using the baby chickens to keep busy during self-isolation, while others worry about the depleting egg supply.

Yes, but: Experts aren't sure how Easter will impact the existing egg supply. People are less likely to go to social gatherings this holiday as the novel coronavirus continues to engulf the country. Americans might use the eggs they already purchased, rather than trying to buy more.

Go deeper... Coronavirus updates: Italy records deadliest day with nearly 1,000 dead

Go deeper

2 hours ago - World

Maximum pressure campaign escalates with Fakhrizadeh killing

Photo: Fars News Agency via AP

The assassination of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, the architect of Iran’s military nuclear program, is a new height in the maximum pressure campaign led by the Trump administration and the Netanyahu government against Iran.

Why it matters: It exceeds the capture of the Iranian nuclear archives by the Mossad, and the sabotage in the advanced centrifuge facility in Natanz.

Scoop: Biden weighs retired General Lloyd Austin for Pentagon chief

Lloyd Austin testifying before Congress in 2015. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Joe Biden is considering retired four-star General Lloyd Austin as his nominee for defense secretary, adding him to a shortlist that includes Jeh Johnson, Tammy Duckworth and Michele Flournoy, two sources with direct knowledge of the decision-making tell Axios.

Why it matters: A nominee for Pentagon chief was noticeably absent when the president-elect rolled out his national security team Tuesday. Flournoy had been widely seen as the likely pick, but Axios is told other factors — race, experience, Biden's comfort level — have come into play.

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: WHO: AstraZeneca vaccine must be evaluated on "more than a press release."
  2. Politics: Supreme Court backs religious groups on New York COVID restrictions.
  3. World: Thailand, Philippines sign deal with AstraZeneca for vaccine.
  4. Economy: Safety nets to disappear in December Black Friday shopping across the U.S., in photosAmazon hires 1,400 workers a day throughout pandemic.
  5. Education: National standardized tests delayed until 2022.