Durbin Discusses COVID-19, Health Disparities, Medical Research with Xavier Becerra, Secretary of Health and Human Services Nominee

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) today discussed the COVID-19 pandemic with Xavier Becerra, President-elect Joe Biden’s nominee to be the next Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS). Becerra presently serves as California’s Attorney General and previously served in the House of Representatives from 1993 to 2017 representing downtown Los Angeles. If confirmed, Becerra would be the first Latino HHS Secretary. Durbin and Becerra spoke about shared priorities for suppressing the COVID-19 pandemic, the importance of biomedical research, and addressing health disparities in Black and Latinx communities, including Durbin’s Chicago HEAL Initiative.  

“I’m pleased that President-elect Biden has chosen a groundbreaking, qualified, and dedicated nominee like Xavier Becerra. Today we spoke about health care priorities as we head into next year, first and foremost getting out of this pandemic and saving as many lives as possible. The COVID-19 pandemic has only magnified the broken parts of the American health care system, particularly the disproportionate burden on Black and Latinx communities. I look forward to working with Mr. Becerra as Secretary of HHS to restore the scientific integrity of our health agencies and to improve the health of Americans,” Durbin said.