Biden names California AG Xavier Becerra HHS Secretary
Washington [US], December 7 : US President-elect Joe Biden is expected to nominate California Attorney General Xavier Becerra to serve as the head of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), confirmed a person familiar with the decision to The Hill on Sunday.
Becerra will be the second Latino named to a high-profile Cabinet position by Biden.
The President-elect is expected to formally announce Becerra as the pick on Monday or Tuesday.
He will be tasked with leading the agency responsible for managing the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has already claimed over 280,000 lives in the US.
According to The Hill, Becerra, 62, previously served 12 terms in the House representing Los Angeles. He was elected California attorney general in 2016.
Since then, he has been among the most aggressive state attorneys general in challenging the Trump administration in court, suing over immigration measures and health care and environmental rollbacks.
As head of HHS, he will become one of the most visible Cabinet officials in fighting the pandemic, which is worsening each day in the US.
Biden is expected in the coming days to also unveil his choices for other key health positions, including surgeon general, head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and an official to help coordinate the pandemic response, The Hill reported.
The United States is the worst affected state during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. According to the latest update by Johns Hopkins University, 14,747,102 people have been infected, while 282,231 people have succumbed to the virus.