CNN medical analyst Dr. Jonathan Reiner slammed President Biden’s selection of former California Attorney General Xavier Becerra as the Secretary of Health and Human Services over reports that the White House privately believes he doesn’t have the necessary experience.
During a Sunday appearance on “CNN Newsroom,” Reiner reacted to the report by declaring that Becerra was the wrong choice for the job since first being tapped by Biden to head the department amid the coronavirus pandemic, and that the administration was suffering coordination challenges stemming from the lack of experience within leadership.
“The problem is that Secretary Becerra was the wrong choice for the job from the beginning,” Reiner told host Jim Acosta.
The remark followed CNN reporter Edward-Isaac Dovere reporting on how Becerra pushed back on criticism of his “hand-off” approach to the pandemic, as well as blame for “not knowing what was going on” and not being an active part of the pandemic response.
“Remember, HHS is the umbrella agency for CDC and NIH and CMS and FDA and the public health service. So basically every entity of this government that we have utilized to fight the singular pandemic of the last century is being run by somebody with no experience in health,” Reiner added.
Reiner said that considering some of the organizations he listed often feuded or poorly communicated with each other, they would ideally be led by somebody with a sense of how they all worked together, even if that person wasn’t an actual physician.
“Secretary Becerra has absolutely no experience. And it’s not just that he’s kept a low profile, it’s been basically that he’s been in the witness protection program. He’s been completely absent. He was the wrong choice, and frankly, the administration really does suffer from having a lack of coordination now,” he said.
Last week, White House press secretary Jen Psaki dismissed the reports of tension between Becerra and the administration, stating Biden “remains confident” in his ability to perform his duties.