President-elect Joe Biden has picked California Attorney General Xavier Becerra to be his health secretary.
Becerra would be the first Latino to head the Department of Health and Human Services.
The appointment will come at a critical time, as the coronavirus continues its unchecked spread across the country.
According to Johns Hopkins University, the United States has over 4.8 confirmed cases and 282,513 deaths from the virus.
DHHS is a $1-trillion-plus agency with 80,000 employees and a portfolio that includes drugs and vaccines, leading-edge medical research and health insurance programs covering more than 130 million Americans. The appointment received immediate support from the National Alliance for Hispanic Health.
“More than ever, the nation needs experienced, knowledgeable, and skilled leadership at the helm of DHHS. Deeply committed to country, service, and all communities, Xavier Becerra will be the steady hand that DHHS needs to be the leader in science, health, and human services, said the organization in a statement.
Mr. Becerra’s lifelong commitment to addressing the challenges of families struggling to meet their health and human service needs will help ensure that DHHS is true to its core mission, said Jane L. Delgado, PhD, MS, President and CEO of the NAHH
His decades of experience with government at all levels and legislative and regulatory processes have prepared him to be the Secretary of DHHS that the country and indeed the global community needs. We look forward to the Senate’s timely confirmation of this critical Cabinet position after the convening of the 117th Congress next year,” Delgado said.