WASHINGTON — President-elect Joe Biden has picked California Attorney General Xavier Becerra to be his health secretary, putting a defender of the Affordable Care Act in a leading role to oversee his administration’s coronavirus response.
If confirmed by the Senate, Becerra will be the first Latino to head the Department of Health and Human Services.
It’s a $1-trillion-plus agency with 80,000 employees and a portfolio that includes drugs and vaccines, leading-edge medical research and health insurance programs covering more than 130 million Americans.
If confirmed, Becerra would play a key role in the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines and the implementation of public health policies amid the pandemic. Biden has already said that he will ask Americans to wear masks for 100 days following his inauguration.