Depression and mass detention: What’s happening with asylum-seeking children being held at Fort Bliss

FILE PHOTO: Activists defending the rights of migrants hold a protest near Fort Bliss to call for the end of the detention of unaccompanied minors at the facility in El Paso, Texas, U.S, June 8, 2021.
FILE PHOTO: Activists defending the rights of migrants hold a protest near Fort Bliss to call for the end of the detention of unaccompanied minors at the facility in El Paso, Texas, U.S, June 8, 2021.

  • Fort Bliss in El Paso, Texas, is being used to hold hundreds of child asylum-seekers.
  • Detainees have complained of inhumane conditions.
  • The ACLU’s Shaw Drake told Insider he saw hundreds of kids sleeping under the same tent.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

At a military base in El Paso, Texas, hundreds of unaccompanied children who crossed the US-Mexico border to seek asylum are sleeping under one big tent. Some have been there for weeks – others were held there for months – as authorities worked to track down a relative who could take them out of government custody.

In recent court filings, children complained of insomnia, inedible food, and depression. One US lawmaker who visited the site, known as Fort Bliss, described the conditions as “absolutely unacceptable.”

It was not supposed to be like this. President Joe Biden and his administration pledged to create a “humane asylum system” – one that abandoned images of kids in cages in favor of recognizing the legal right to seek protection from violence and repression.

Shaw Drake, a staff attorney at the ACLU of Texas, has twice visited the military base that now doubles as an emergency shelter. What he saw is too many children in one confined space, conditions that make it difficult for staff to keep track of what’s even happening.

“Children shouldn’t be held in those mass, dormitory-like situations,” he said. “We certainly observed firsthand the challenges and concerns about the lack of case management and the amount of time children were spending at the facility.”

Those conditions have led some children to attempt suicide and other forms of self-harm, according to testimony filed this month.

The Biden administration insists it is doing better – and in many ways it has, having reduced the number of kids in its custody and placing them in the care of family and friends. At one point, Fort Bliss housed around 5,000 children. This week, that number fell to fewer than 800, a product of the federal government ramping up efforts to place them with relatives and legal guardians.

By contrast, Drake said, the Trump administration allowed children to languish in Border Patrol facilities that were never intended to host them. At least five children died in them between 2018 and 2019.

“Border Patrol has a long history of holding people in inhumane conditions and abusing people in their custody, so it’s certainly not an environment that is conducive for unaccompanied children to spend any time in,” Drake said.

Emergency intake shelters like the one at Fort Bliss are an improvement, a fact that could have led to some complacency under the Biden administration – or at least a confidence that progress, amid a new surge in child asylum-seekers, was sufficient in the wake of the Trump administration, which itself had hollowed out the infrastructure for dealing with them.

“I think a big piece of it is a lack of commitment to the follow-through,” Drake said. “It’s very important to stand up these facilities and get kids out of Border Patrol, but the administration needed to move more quickly past to ‘how can we actually reunite these children with their loved ones?'”

There is a need to provide shelter. “The government does have to do its due diligence to ensure that they’re releasing the child to someone who is a bonafide relative or sponsor who’s going to take care for that child appropriately,” Drake said. But right now, that process can take days or weeks to even get started.

Beyond improving conditions at Fort Bliss and elsewhere, Drake said the search should begin as soon as a child is received by Border Patrol. On-site staff from the Department of Health and Human Services could even help some avoid further detention altogether.

“When children have – and many children do – direct parents or other immediate relatives waiting for them, they could be released directly without having to be transferred to an HHS facility,” he said. “And that’s something that, to this point, this administration and past administrations have failed to do.”

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Fort Bliss: Biden administration responds to report of inhumane conditions for migrant children at emergency shelter in Texas

Activist defending the rights of migrants holds a protest near Fort Bliss to call for the end of the detention of unaccompanied minors at the facility in El Paso, Texas, U.S, June 8, 2021. REUTERS/Jose Luis Gonzalez
Activist defending the rights of migrants holds a protest near Fort Bliss to call for the end of the detention of unaccompanied minors at the facility in El Paso, Texas, U.S, June 8, 2021.

  • In court filings, migrant children at a federal shelter in Texas complained of inhumane conditions.
  • Children said they were given rotten food and were unable to sleep in overcrowded tents.
  • The Biden administration said it is working to improve conditions.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

The Biden administration is defending its handling of migrant children seeking asylum following testimony this week from young people and federal employees alike alleging poor conditions at an emergency intake facility in Texas.

“We take our humanitarian mission and the well-being of children in our care seriously,” said a statement emailed to reporters on Wednesday by Sarah Lovenheim, assistant secretary of public affairs at the Department of Health and Human Services.

In court documents filed this week, migrant children suggested that commitment was lacking, complaining of severe depression caused at least in part by excruciating conditions at shelters such as the one at Fort Bliss, a US Army base in El Paso, Texas.

The facility was first used to house detained migrants during the Trump administration.

In response, HHS, which runs the site, says it has increased the number of case managers at such sites by 95%, from 909 to 1,776 as of May 21. At the same time, it has also reduced the number of children in detention at Fort Bliss, from around 5,000 to 1,500, and elsewhere: there are fewer than 15,000 children in HHS custody today, compared to nearly 23,000 at the end of April.

A 13-year-old girl from Honduras said she was placed on suicide watch after spending two months there.

“The food here is horrible,” she testified. “Yesterday we were given hamburgers but I couldn’t eat it because there was a foul odor coming from the bread.”

The child also described suffering insomnia due to the conditions, per the legal filing.

“It is really hard for me to sleep because my cot is right next to a light that stays on all night,” she said, adding that a request for sleeping pills had been denied due to her age. “For the past week or so I have only been sleeping during the day.”

In its statement, HHS insisted children are “receiving nutritionally-appropriate meals.”

“Our goal is to safely and expeditiously unite children with their parent or sponsor and we continue to improve and streamline this process,” it said.

Another 17-year-old girl at the same facility, however, described overcrowded conditions even with the decrease in the number of children there, with hundreds of girls sleeping under the same tent.

“A lot of the girls here cry a lot,” she testified. “A lot of them end up having to talk to someone because they have thoughts of cutting themselves.”

Federal officials, concerned about deteriorating mental health among the children, “banned pencils, pens, scissors, nail clippers, and regular toothbrushes” inside of such tents, CBS News reported.

“They’ve gone from a small cage at Border Patrol to a larger cage at Fort Bliss,” a former employee there told the outlet. “It’s a juvenile detention facility.”

Have a news tip? Email this reporter: cdavis@insider.com

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‘We’ll all be dead by June!’: Jared Kushner screamed at a health official after hearing about delayed mask shipments, according to new book

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Senior Advisor to the President Jared Kushner.

  • Kushner reportedly grew so frustrated at news over mask shipments last year that he threw his pen at the wall.
  • “You f—ing moron,” Kushner reportedly yelled at a health official. “We’ll all be dead by June!”
  • The scene was detailed in a forthcoming book by two Washington Post reporters.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Jared Kushner lashed out at a public health official when he learned in late March 2020 that millions of masks wouldn’t arrive in the US until June, according to an excerpt of a forthcoming book reported by The Washington Post on Monday.

“You f—ing moron,” Kushner reportedly yelled at then-assistant secretary of the Health and Human Services Department, Robert Kadlec, who purchased 600 million masks as coronavirus infections had spiked across the country. “We’ll all be dead by June!”

The scene was revealed in the new book, “Nightmare Scenario: Inside the Trump Administration’s Response to the Pandemic That Changed History,” by Washington Post reporters Yasmeen Abutaleb and Damian Paletta.

Kushner grew so frustrated that he threw his pen at the wall, the book reports. At the time, he had taken on greater responsibilities as senior advisor to former President Donald Trump, playing an influential role in the White House’s COVID-19 response.

The book details many more chaotic moments of the Trump administration’s coronavirus response, including another time when a Trump aide blew up at Kadlec.

“I’m going to fire your a– if you can’t fix this!” then-chief of staff Mark Meadows, upset at the administration’s rollout of the new antiviral treatment remdesivir, reportedly shouted at Kadlec in a phone call.

The Washington Post reporters write that the handling of the pandemic had turned the Trump administration into “a toxic environment in which no matter where you turned, someone was ready to rip your head off or threatening to fire you.”

The book also reported an instance in February last year when Trump questioned whether COVID-19 patients in the US could be sent to Guantánamo Bay.

“Don’t we have an island that we own? What about Guantánamo?” Trump reportedly asked officials assembled in the Situation Room, who were shocked at the idea and dismissed it.

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The Biden administration moved more than $2 billion earmarked for COVID measures to deal with the influx of migrants at the border

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A Border Patrol temporary processing facility in Donna, Texas, for migrant children and families, pictured March 17, 2021.

  • The Department of Health and Human Services moved more than $2 billion from COVID-related relief funds to help the situation at the border.
  • At the southern border, there’s been an influx of migrants seeking entrance into the country.
  • US officials have struggled to respond to the surge.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

The Biden administration is funneling more than $2 billion toward the care of migrant children by and along the southern border, Politico reported.

That money had originally been earmarked to go toward various measures to fight the coronavirus pandemic, according to Politico.

The Department of Health and Human Services said $850 million will come from funds originally intended to expand testing for COVID-19, Politico reported.

Another $850 million will be taken out of a fund set aside to help the country rebuild its emergency stockpile of medical items like masks, respirators, and gloves. The Strategic National Stockpile is meant to support the country as it deals with an emergency, but the pandemic has basically emptied it.

Another $436 million coming from various health initiatives will also be diverted to support children at the border, according to Politico.

At the US-Mexico border, there’s been an influx of migrants seeking entrance to the US and fleeing unfavorable or difficult conditions in their home countries.

In response to the surge, the Biden administration opened several temporary federal shelters, and as of early May, Us officials are holding about 22,500 unaccompanied children.

There’s concern that officials have struggled to adequately care for these migrant children. There are reports, for example, that say migrant children are not receiving enough food or appropriate mental health care.

Earlier this year, the public got a first look inside the facility after a Congressional representative leaked photos to the media. One facility showed adults and children sitting in what appeared to be makeshift rooms separating out groups of people.

Each room was cordoned off by what looks like a plastic enclosure, drawing comparisons to jail cells. Dozens of masked children can be seen lying down on gray mats. Some were crowded into corners, despite the threat of the coronavirus spreading. Others appeared to sit on the floor.

Such conditions have caused lawmakers and human-rights experts to sound the alarms and argue that migrant children should have better treatment upon crossing the border.

HHS did not immediately return Insider’s request for comment. But speaking to Politico, HHS spokesperson Mark Weber explained the department is collaborating with the Office of Management and Budget to respond to the influx of migrant at the border.

“All options are on the table,” Weber said. “This program has relied, year after year, on the transfer of funds.”

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Ted Cruz engages in an online spat over Biden’s HHS secretary nominee who sued the Trump administration more than 100 times

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Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) during a Senate hearing on November 17, 2020.

  • Ted Cruz opposes the nomination of Xavier Becerra as Secretary of Health and Human Services.
  • Cruz insists that the role should be filled by a scientist and not an attorney.
  • Kevin M. Kruse called out Cruz for dismissing Becerra’s tenure as a former congressman and current attorney general.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

GOP Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, well-known for his public Twitter spats, engaged in an online battle earlier this week regarding the qualifications of Xavier Becerra, the California Attorney General who has been nominated by President Joe Biden to lead the Department of Health and Human Services.

Cruz has expressed opposition to Becerra, arguing that the HHS nominee should be a doctor as the country remains mired in the coronavirus pandemic.

“President Biden has nominated an attorney – someone who lacks the necessary experience and skills to serve as Secretary of HHS,” Cruz said earlier this month. “Voting to confirm an HHS Secretary with absolutely no medical or scientific experience is simply irresponsible.”

On Fox News earlier this week, Cruz reiterated his sentiments about Becerra.

“If a Republican nominated a trial lawyer to lead the Health and Human Services department in the midst of a global pandemic, they would be laughed out of the room because it would be absurd,” Cruz said.

Princeton University professor and historian Kevin M. Kruse took notice of Cruz’s comments and pushed back against the questioning of Becerra’s qualifications on Twitter.

“He was a US Congressman from 1993 to 2017, and then served as the attorney general of California, but sure, dismiss him as a ‘trial lawyer,'” he wrote.

Cruz responded, asking Kruse if he would hire him to perform an operation without any medical experience and questioning whether Becerra would “sue the virus.”

“I’ve been a lawyer for 25 yrs & a Senator for 8,” Cruz wrote. “Would you hire me to remove your appendix?”

The tweet continued: “Of course not. I’m not remotely qualified to be HHS Secretary-& neither are you, a history professor & pundit. Bacerra [sic] is a left-wing activist. During a pandemic, we need a scientist.”

Kruse replied back, questioning Cruz about Ben Carson, who was controversially tapped to lead the Department of Housing and Urban Development by former President Donald Trump despite little relevant housing-related policy experience.

“When you voted to confirm Ben Carson as the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, did you think he was going to perform brain surgery on an apartment?,” he asked.

He continued: “I *am* just a history professor! But maybe I can help you out here by informing you that almost none of the HHS/HEW (Health, Education, and Welfare) secretaries in US history have been scientists or doctors. That includes the last one you happily voted to confirm. He was a lawyer.”

Alex Azar, the most recent Senate-confirmed HHS secretary, was an attorney and pharmaceutical executive.

In his capacity as California’s attorney general, Becerra filed more than 100 lawsuits against the Trump administration.

Despite Cruz’s opposition, along with GOP pushback to the nomination from Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and Sen. Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, Becerra is assured of confirmation if he can retain the support of all 50 Senate Democrats.

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Biden to spend another $1.6 billion to expand COVID-19 testing in schools and underserved areas

Walmart covid testing
  • President Joe Biden has announced a $1.6 billion investment in expanded COVID-19 testing.
  • Funds will go to testing K-8 schools and underserved communities, and increased genome sequencing.
  • Biden also called on Congress to pass his stimulus plan, which includes $50 billion for testing.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

President Joe Biden announced on Wednesday that he will invest $1.6 billion to expand the availability of testing in K-8 schools and underserved areas, intended to serve as a “bridge” until Congress approves more funding.

During his first presidential town hall in Milwaukee on Tuesday, Biden said that by the end of July, the country will have 600 million vaccine doses available, enough for every American. But in the meantime, safety measures are still needed, and this new funding will be used to expand COVID-19 testing for K-8 schools and underserved populations, along with increased manufacturing for testing supplies and virus genome sequencing.

The Dept. of Health and Human Services and the Dept. of Defense will allocate $650 million to expand testing in K-8 schools and “underserved congregate setting” like homeless shelters, according to the White House, along with an $815 million investment to increase domestic manufacturing of testing supplies, such as filter pipette tips.

In addition, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will invest nearly $200 million to identify and track emerging COVID-19 strains through genome sequencing, which will allow for a better understanding of how the virus spreads.

“As the Administration is working around the clock to vaccinate the population, we need to continue to do what we know works to protect public health: universal masking, physical distancing, and robust testing,” the White House said in a statement. “These down payments will serve as a bridge to comprehensive testing investments in the American Rescue Plan.”

While the $1.6 billion will significantly improve testing availability, the Biden administration said Congress still needs to pass the president’s $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, which includes $50 billion to be used specifically for testing purposes.

“These investments are only the beginning of what is needed to expand testing nationwide and get the pandemic under control,” the White House statement said. “The American Rescue Plan will invest $50 billion to expand and support testing, including in priority settings like schools and shelters, and invest in US testing capacity so that public health officials can track the virus in real time and Americans can efficiently get results.”

According to the CDC, the US is averaging 1.7 million vaccinations per day, but the need for further testing remains a priority for Biden.

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Health officials slam Walgreens and CVS for ‘fiasco’ vaccine rollout to nursing homes

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Vera Leip, 88, receives a Pfizer-BioNtech COVID-19 vaccine at the John Knox Village Continuing Care Retirement Community on December 16, 2020 in Pompano Beach, Florida.

  • CVS and Walgreens have come under fire from health officials over the slow rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine to nursing homes, CNN reported.
  • As part of the federal government’s program to vaccinate elderly people in care, the two companies claim to be on track to get the first of the two-part dose done by January 25.
  • But health officials in many states have said the progress is poor, hampered by bureaucracy.
  • West Virginia, which opted out of the program, has made much faster progress by relying on its network of smaller pharmacies with good ties to the community, The Conversation reported.
  • CVS and Walgreens did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

CVS and Walgreens have come under fire from local officials for the slow rollout of their vaccinations program to nursing homes. 

As of January 14, around a quarter of the 4.7 million doses allocated to the companies had been administered CNN reported.

In statements to the network, the companies insisted they are still on track to have the first round of the two-phase vaccine completed by January 25.

But health officials in some states have said that the process has been frustratingly slow.

The director of one LA County chain of nursing homes, Dr. Karl Steinberg, told CNN: “It’s been so much worse than anybody expected. That light at the end of the tunnel is dim.”

Mississippi’s State Health Officer Dr Thomas Dobbs described the partnership between the pharmacy giants and the federal government as a “fiasco.”

President Donald Trump’s administration left the coordination of the vaccination’s overall rollout to states, as Insider’s Hilary Brueck reported

CVS and Walgreens became the sole contractors for vast chunks of the rollout under a deal announced by the Health and Human Services (HHS) department in October 2020. 

The companies’ name recognition and corporate heft is considered a boost to public trust in getting the vaccinations processed, as Business Insider’s Áine Cain, Irene Jiang, and Shelby Livingston reported

Without an overarching federal program for distribution, most states opted into the CVS-Walgreens partnership to get the vaccine into nursing homes. 

A January 6 company statement from CVS 6 said that the company is on track with its target, with incoming president Karen Lynch saying on January 15 that it had administered one million shots in nursing homes. In total, 1.7 million shots have been administered by CVS and Walgreens combined, The New York Times reported on January 16.

A spokesperson for CVS, Joe Goode, told CNN: “Everything has gone as planned, save for a few instances where we’ve been challenged or had difficulties making contact with long-term care facilities to schedule clinics.”

But it has been beset with problems, such as cumbersome bureaucracy and poorly-staffed centers, CNN reported. 

Speaking from Seattle, where Walgreens and CVS are administering the bulk of vaccines to care homes, NPR’s Will Stone said that nursing homes are “absolutely desperate to give out shots,” but they are “basically at the mercy of when CVS or Walgreens schedules them.”

Authorities that didn’t take up the partnership are moving much faster. West Virginia – a state that opted out of the program – is leading the country in the vaccine rollout to care homes, as the Associated Press reported

Care home vaccinations there started two weeks earlier than in most states, NPR reported.

Prof. Tinglong Dai, an operations specialist at Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing, writing for The Conversation, pointed out that the near-monopoly that CVS and Walgreens have gives them little reason to work faster. 

But in West Virginia, each care home is served by more than one pharmacy for the process, prompting more of a rush to reach out and organize the doses, he wrote. 

They also already have strong ties to the local community and its nursing homes, he wrote – an important factor in a process that requires explanation and consent with vulnerable people and their families. 

Krista Capehart, director of regulation for the state’s Board of Pharmacy, is leading the West Virginia distribution plan.

She told NPR: “When [the vaccine] got here, we already had pharmacies matched with long-term care facilities, so we were already ready to have vaccinators and pharmacists ready to go into those facilities and start providing first doses.”

On January 15, President-elect Joe Biden announced increased federal support for the process – which both Walgreens and CVS have welcomed. 

Lynch, the CVS executive, said in a statement that the federal assistance will enable the company to administer more than 1 million shots per day – vastly more than they have managed so far.

Neither company immediately responded to Insider’s request for comment. 

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The US is giving $523 million to 9,000 nursing homes for reducing COVID-19 cases. This is the first time it has given institutions financial rewards for controlling the spread.

nursing home
Two relatives visit their mother (r), in the Johannes Sondermann House of the AWO geriatric centre.

  • The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will split $523 million in incentive payments among more than 9,000 nursing homes for reducing COVID-19 related infections and deaths.
  • The agency gave the first payments out on Wednesday, and said it is “exhausting all measures to ensure nursing homes nationwide are safe.”
  • Nursing homes have been particularly hard hit by the pandemic. Their residents and staff accounting for more than a third of the country’s COVID-19 fatalities.
  • Officials have recommended that healthcare workers and residents of long-term-care facilities are first in line to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The government is giving financial rewards to nursing homes that slowed the spread of COVID-19 among their residents.

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will share incentive payments totalling $523 million among more than 9,000 nursing homes, with the first payments given out on Wednesday.

This marks the first time the US has given financial rewards to institutions for maintaining COVID-19 prevention measures, The Washington Post reported.

Around 69% (9,248) of nursing homes in the US that are eligible for HHS support will receive the funding.

“These nursing homes are being rewarded for successfully reducing COVID-19-related infections and deaths between September and October,” HHS said in a statement Monday.

Nursing homes can use the funding to purchase more personal protective equipment “or other efforts to help slow the spread of COVID-19,” HHS said. The virus “continues to take a devastating toll on nursing homes stretched thin,” the agency added.

More than 100,000 nursing home residents and staff have died from the virus in the US, accounting for more than a third of the country’s COVID-19 fatalities, according to Kaiser Family Foundation data.

Earlier this month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices voted to recommend that healthcare workers and residents of long-term-care facilities receive a coronavirus vaccine first.

A panel of outside advisors to the FDA is meeting Thursday to vote on whether to recommend that the FDA issues an emergency authorization for the shot. If the FDA agrees with the recommendation and decides to proceed, people may start getting the shot as early as Friday. Though there may be delays to distribution.

Read more: Pharmacies, doctor’s offices, and hospitals are gearing up to give coronavirus vaccines to millions of Americans. Here’s how they’re preparing and how much they stand to profit along the way.

In August, HHS announced plans to distribute an additional $5 billion in Provider Relief Fund (PRF) payments to nursing homes, including $2 billion for an incentive-based program to rewards nursing homes that “create and maintain safe environments for their residents.”

In the first round of funding in October, the agency gave $331 million in emergency funds to nursing homes for keeping new COVID-19 infection and mortality rates among residents “lower than the communities they serve.” This second round of $523 million will be followed by three further rounds.

“Paired with continued funding directly tied to COVID-19 infection and mortality rate reductions, HHS is exhausting all measures to ensure nursing homes nationwide are safe,” the agency said.

This includes free interactive COVID-19 safety training and mentoring through the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, which only half of all US nursing homes have enrolled on, HHS said.

“As we approach the rollout of safe and effective vaccines for our most vulnerable, we continue the innovative program we created this year to incentivize and assist nursing homes in battling COVID-19 and applying the right infection control practices,” said HHS secretary, Alex Azar.

“This half a billion dollars in incentive payments will reward nursing homes that have shown results in their tireless work to keep their residents safe from the virus.”

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Xavier Becerra, California attorney general, is Biden’s pick to lead health department: NYT

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Then-Vice President Joe Biden, center, and then-Rep. Xavier Becerra, D-Calif., arrive in the Capitol Visitor Center for a meeting of the House Democratic Caucus, December 06, 2016.

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra is President-elect Joe Biden’s pick to lead the US Department of Health and Human Services, The New York Times reported on Sunday.

Becerra, 62, previously represented Los Angeles as a member of Congress, where he served in the Democratic leadership. He has served as California attorney general since 2017, succeeding Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.

If confirmed, the Times noted, Becerra would be the first Latino to lead the health department.

As head of the health department, Becerra will be charging with helping to tackle a surging pandemic and administration of hundreds of millions of vaccine. Over the past week, hospitalizations due to the coronavirus have increased 11.6%, according to The Covid Tracking Project; deaths have risen 46.5% compared to the week before.

Becerra will also have to undo potential roadblocks set by the outgoing Trump administration. On Friday, he led a coalition of state attorneys general in challenging a “misguided and dangerous attempt at deregulation” within HHS that “would hamstring the incoming Biden administration in the midst of a global pandemic.”

In particular, the Trump administration is seeking to automatically “sunset” any HHS regulation that is not reviewed within a set period of time. Critics maintain that will redirect limited resources toward bureaucratic processes just to preserve existing rules, jeopardizing funding streams for state governments at a time when HHS will need “to enact new regulations aimed at controlling the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Have a news tip? Email this reporter: cdavis@insider.com

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