Senate Republicans Should Support These Highly Qualified Nominees

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Washington, DC — Today, Protect Our Care held a press call with former HHS Secretaries U.S. Rep. Donna Shalala (D-FL-27) and Kathleen Sebelius about President-elect Joe Biden’s announcement of his intention to nominate Attorney General Xavier Becerra (D-CA) as Secretary of Health and Human Services and Dr. Vivek Murthy to Surgeon General. Biden also selected Jeff Zients as White House COVID-19 Coordinator, Dr. Rochelle Walensky as Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith as the COVID-19 Equity Task Force Chair and Dr. Anthony Fauci as Chief Medical Adviser to the President on COVID-19. Dr. Fauci will also continue in his role as Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. 

Xavier Becerra is tremendously well-qualified to be next the Secretary of Health and Human Services,” said U.S. Rep. Donna Shalala. “Through his long tenure in Congress and his experience as Attorney General of California leading the fight to protect the ACA, Xavier Becerra has proven to be a champion for the expansion of quality, affordable health care to every American. He will be an invaluable asset to the administration and to the country.”

“President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris have put forward a very strong, competent, compassionate strategic health team. We are in the midst of an unprecedented health crisis in this country, so getting the health team in place as rapidly as possible is really important to save lives and to save entire communities,” said former HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. “Americans day in and day out rely on HHS to deliver services that they need and expect in their lives, and Attorney General Becerra is well equipped, having run a major agency in California, to bring those management and operations skills to the forefront.”

“President-elect Biden has appointed a strong, experienced, diverse team that will be ready on day one to battle this pandemic. They will respect the science, have a plan, and know how to execute it. They will hit the ground running and immediately work to contain the ever-worsening coronavirus pandemic. They know what needs to be done to build on the Affordable Care Act to provide affordable, quality health care for all Americans, which is more important than ever in the middle of this pandemic,” said Protect Our Care Chair Leslie Dach. “Attorney General Becerra has deep experience in health care, in Congress and state government. He is an experienced manager and proven champion of the ACA. Vivek Murthy was a tremendous Surgeon General in the Obama administration and will be a trusted advisor and voice for public health. Every Republican senator should support the speedy confirmations of Attorney General Becerra and Dr. Murthy to these vitally important positions.”