HHS Secretary Becerra AWOL On COVID

He's playing politics, not working for the taxpayers.

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Former Republican Congressional Jason Chaffetz calls HHS Secretary Becerra out of touch and out of the office when it comes to COVID. He’s quite correct. Becerra is a political lawyer playing at health.

Chaffetz: This week as President Biden seemed to abandon all pretense of having a plan to address COVID-19, some are wondering whether a Silver Alert needs to be issued for Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra.

Americans haven’t seen Becerra at a single White House COVID briefing. They haven’t seen him at NIH events. Unlike his predecessor Alex Azar, he doesn’t hold regular press briefings or take questions.

He seems to be absent from the biggest public health crises of our time, leading some to ask if he, like Secretary Pete Buttigieg, went on paternity leave, too?

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Congresswoman Kat Cammack, R-Fla., pointed out this week that on the major issues we have been facing as Americans, the HHS secretary has been MIA.

As Americans bemoan the inaccessibility of testing for COVID, the restrictions on monoclonal antibody treatments, the risk of infection from untested border crossers, and the surge in deadly fentanyl crossing our now open borders, Becerra has offered no solutions.

“This has definitely turned into a game of Where’s Waldo?” Cammack explained when I interviewed her for “The Ingraham Angle.” “No one seems to be able to find him on, really, any of the issues that he has full jurisdiction over.”

So what is Becerra doing? Two weeks ago NBC News asked the White House whether Becerra had even been invited to a December event with President Biden at the National Institute of Health (NIH).

Instead of answering the question, White House spokesman Chris Meagher explained,

“Secretary Becerra is leading an agency handling some of the most critical issues our country is facing today, including tackling reproductive freedom, fighting to lower prescription drug prices and expanding access to high quality, affordable health care.”

Translation: Becerra is too busy playing politics to be bothered with a global pandemic. The COVID response, the fentanyl problem, and the health of unaccompanied minors on the border don’t even make the White House list of top three things the HHS secretary is working on. Instead, it’s abortion and government takeover of health care.

Becerra had been confirmed to his cabinet position for almost eight months before he made his first visit to the NIH. What little we do see of Becerra involves deeply divisive issues for which the Biden administration has no broad mandate.

This past week, if you looked really hard, you could find mention of Becerra promoting a new rule forcing religious health care workers to perform abortions and gender transition surgeries.

He seems to care about Medicaid expansion, growing ObamaCare, and punishing pharmaceutical companies (but not drug traffickers) who distributed opioids.

We didn’t need more evidence that the Biden administration is not serious about COVID-19. We know Joe Biden made promises in order to win an election. But it should have been obvious immediately when he called on an attorney to run public health that efforts to solve the problems created by the pandemic were not going to be led by our nation’s best health care professionals.

David Kamioner
meet the author

David Kamioner is a veteran of U.S. Army Intelligence and an honors graduate of the University of Maryland's European Division. He also served with the Pershing Nuclear Brigade and the First Infantry Division. Subsequent to that he worked for two decades as a political consultant, was part of the American Red Cross Hurricane Katrina disaster relief effort in Louisiana, ran a homeless shelter for veterans in Philadelphia, and taught as a college instructor. He serves as a Contributing Editor for LifeZette.

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4 months ago

This must be wrong. I have it on excellent authority that it is Ron Desantis who is awol for something like two weeks.