AP Wonders Openly: Can Xavier Becerra Actually Do the Job of HHS Secretary?

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra discusses the lawsuit his office has filed against Purdue Pharma for its painkiller Oxycontin, during a news conference, Monday, June 3, 2019, in Sacramento, Calif. The suit, filed against Purdue and its former president, Dr. Richard Sackler, alleges it falsely promoted the drug as not …
Rich Pedroncelli/AP Photo

The Associated Press wondered openly on Tuesday whether California Attorney General Xavier Becerra is actually up to the job for which Joe Biden has chosen him — namely, Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services.

After promising that “science” and “scientists” would lead the nation’s coronavirus response, Biden nominated a career politician with no health experience — and who had not even practiced law for 26 years when he arrived at his current job.

The AP reported Tuesday (emphasis added):

In choosing Xavier Becerra to be his health secretary, President-elect Joe Biden tapped a robust defender of the Affordable Care Act who will face questions about whether he possesses the health care and management experience needed to lead the massive effort to vaccinate a nation against a deadly pandemic.

As California’s attorney general, Becerra leads the nation’s largest state justice department, an influential perch from which he’s fought Republican efforts to roll back health coverage. But he has been less involved in the day-to-day work to combat the coronavirus, is not a health care expert and has not overseen an office as sprawling as the Department of Health and Human Services.

The AP notes that much of the discussion around Becerra has involved his racial and ethnic background. Latino groups have been pushing for more inclusion in a potential Biden Cabinet that, until this week, looked to be overwhelmingly white.

Becerra’s main achievement in California has been to sue the Trump administration dozens of times over policy disputes. In addition, he has continued the prosecution of pro-life filmmaker David Daleiden. Crime is rising in many areas of the state.

Pro-life groups have called Becerra an “extremist” on abortion, and he is a supporter of socialist “Medicare for All” policies.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). His newest e-book is Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.


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