60 Days of Delay and Counting: As Pandemic Rages On, Senate Republicans Obstruct Biden’s Health Secretary Nominee
60 days have passed since President Biden tapped Becerra to take the helm of HHS, yet there has been no progress made in the Senate
Senate Republicans wasted the critical period between Election Day and Inauguration Day stalling Becerra instead of working to swiftly confirm our nation’s top health official
Since this announcement, 11,924,100 Americans have been infected with COVID-19 and 169,300 Americans have passed away
Accountable Senate War Room: “Delaying a hearing for the leader of the Health and Human Services in the middle of a pandemic that has claimed 450,800 American lives is negligence in plain sight”
Washington, D.C. – Today marks 60 days since President Biden nominated Xavier Becerra to lead the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and yet there has been virtually no progress made on his confirmation in the Senate. With the U.S. having passed the one-year mark of its first confirmed COVID case, there has never been a more critical need for strong and consistent leadership at the nation’s top health agency.
Becerra was one of President Biden’s first Cabinet picks on December 6, showing the President’s clear prioritization of getting the pandemic under control. Instead of working expeditiously to confirm Becerra, Republican senators went so far as to criticize him for not having come from Big Pharma and have refused to prioritize his nomination, even as more Americans contract and die from COVID every day.
Republicans’ obstruction already has and will continue to cause delays to the vaccine distribution plan and overall response to the COVID-19 pandemic. January was the deadliest month of the pandemic by far, and in the last 60 days, roughly 11,924,100 Americans have been infected with COVID-19 and 169,300 Americans have lost their lives to the virus. And as families across the United States continue to collectively grieve this mass tragedy, HHS needs its leadership in place to tackle this pandemic head-on and ensure vaccination sites are running smoothly.
“Delaying a hearing for the head of Health and Human Services in the middle of a pandemic that has claimed more than 450,000 American lives is negligence in plain sight,” said Mairead Lynn, spokesperson for Accountable Senate War Room. “There has never been a more critical need for strong, consistent leadership at our nation’s top health agency, and instead Senate Republicans have refused to prioritize this nominee and are signaling that this obstruction and delay might continue. American lives are on the line and Senate Republicans have a choice: keep shilling for special interests like the drug companies, or let the Biden administration tackle the pandemic head-on and finally get our country back on track.”