February 18, 2021
EPPC President Ryan T. Anderson and EPPC Senior Fellow Roger Severino, who directs EPPC’s HHS Accountability Project, commented on next week’s scheduled confirmation hearing for Xavier Becerra as Secretary of Health and Human Services, warning that Becerra’s confirmation would threaten essential life, conscience, and religious liberty protections achieved under the Trump administration.
“Ordinarily, presidents should be given broad discretion in staffing their administrations. But Xavier Becerra is simply unqualified to be Secretary of HHS. He has no relevant medical expertise, rendering him particularly unsuited to assume this position amid a pandemic. Indeed, his only healthcare qualifications seem to be his attacks on pro-life medicine, his persecution of the Little Sisters of the Poor, and his defense of an unlawful California abortion mandate. President Biden promised to heal and unify the country, but his nomination of an ideological culture warrior like Becerra will only drive us further apart,” said EPPC President Ryan T. Anderson.
“Becerra is dangerously unqualified to lead HHS during a national pandemic,” said EPPC Senior Fellow Roger Severino. “He has no public health experience and wants to impose California’s COVID-19 failures and abortion extremism on the rest of the nation. When I was head of Civil Rights at HHS, I twice held Becerra in violation of laws protecting conscience in health care resulting in a $200 million disallowance of HHS funds to California. For Becerra to head the very agency that investigated him and found he broke the law would be an astounding conflict of interest.”
Ryan T. Anderson, Ph.D., is an expert on bioethics, religious liberty, and political philosophy. Roger Severino served from 2017 to 2021 as the Director of the Office for Civil Rights at HHS, where he led a team of over 250 staff enforcing our nation’s civil rights, conscience and religious freedom, and health information privacy laws.