Officials Complain HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra ‘Too Passive’ as Approval of Joe Biden’s Handling of Pandemic Plunges

Xavier Becerra
AP Photo/Ben Margot

Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra is under fire for his tepid response to the coronavirus pandemic, according to a report.

The health secretary “is taking too passive a role in what may be the most defining challenge to the administration,” one senior administration official said anonymously to The Washington Post.

As Breitbart News has reported, Becerra is markedly absent for Biden’s coronavirus events and only travels to the White House to appear at events unrelated to the pandemic.

Currently, the Biden effort in the coronavirus fight is led by White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator Jeffrey Zients with Dr. Anthony Fauci and Centers for Disease Control Director Rochelle Walensky.

Becerra sometimes plays the role of a cheerleader for Walensky, even though the CDC falls under his purview.

Earlier in January, Becerra defended Walensky as an “infectious disease expert” who “based her words on the science” in reaction to criticism of her leadership.

But those critics might be seeking to pin more blame on Becerra, as Biden’s approval rating on handling the coronavirus pandemic continues to fall.

A FiveThirtyEight tracker shows that only 44.3 percent approve of Biden’s handling of the pandemic and 50 percent disapprove.

An Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research showed that only 45 percent said they approve of Biden’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Washington Post reported that Zients has criticized Becerra for not doing enough to communicate with his team.

HHS spokeswoman Sarah Lovenheim defended Becerra’s role in the pandemic response, promoting his communication skills.

“As the Secretary has often said, the quarterback on covid strategy is in the White House,” Lovenheim said in a statement to The Washington Post. “The Secretary and the HHS team working on covid engage in constant communication.”

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