WASHINGTON, D.C., Feb. 22, 2021 - The Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions and the Senate Committee on Finance will hold confirmation hearings this week for Xavier Becerra, President Biden’s nominee for Secretary of Health and Human Services. American Heart Association CEO Nancy Brown issued the following statement:

“The Biden administration has made the COVID-19 pandemic its top public health priority, and we remain committed to providing the public and health care providers with trusted, science-based tools and resources that empower us to defeat this virus and address the health disparities that have been laid bare by the pandemic.

“The Secretary of Health and Human Services has an essential role to play both in the ongoing public health response and in the work to shape our health care system for the future to ensure equitable health care for everyone in America. To achieve this goal, the Department of Health and Human Services must:

  • Expand access to affordable and adequate insurance coverage.
  • Ensure equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines authorized for emergency use by the FDA. This includes anticipating and mitigating disparities by race, sex and/or gender, disability status, health insurance status, citizenship status and geographic location in the delivery and availability of the vaccine.
  • Work to strengthen the public health infrastructure, including data systems modernization.  
  • Support critical research at the National Institutes of Health and public health programs at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, including Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion and its divisions, offices and programs that address cardiovascular disease.
  • Exercise the FDA’s full authority to regulate the manufacture, marketing and sale of all tobacco products, including electronic cigarettes.

“Our commitment to equitable health for everyone requires us to address racial and economic inequities aimed at improving access to quality health care, preventing tobacco and nicotine use, funding cardiovascular disease research and prevention programs and encouraging healthy eating and active living. We look forward to working with Xavier Becerra, if confirmed, to protect and improve the health of everyone in this country, consistent with our mission to be a relentless force for longer, healthier lives.”


About the American Heart Association
The American Heart Association is a leading force for a world of longer, healthier lives. With nearly a century of lifesaving work, the Dallas-based association is dedicated to ensuring equitable health for all. We are a trustworthy source empowering people to improve their heart health, brain health and well-being. We collaborate with numerous organizations and millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, advocate for stronger public health policies and share lifesaving resources and information. Connect with us on heart.orgFacebookTwitter or by calling 1-800-AHA-USA1.

For media inquiries please contact:
Suniti Sarah Bal – 916-390-1860; suniti.bal@heart.org