NCSD Congratulates Xavier Becerra on HHS Secretary Confirmation
Secretary Becerra confirmed as HHS Secretary, NCSD calls on Biden Administration to prioritize rebuilding public health infrastructure
March 18, 2021
Washington D.C. – Following the confirmation of Xavier Becerra as Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), David C. Harvey, Executive Director of the National Coalition of STD Directors (NCSD), issued the following statement congratulating him and calling on the Biden Administration to begin the work of rebuilding the nation’s public health infrastructure.
“I congratulate Xavier Becerra on his confirmation as Secretary of Health and Human Services. Secretary Becerra is a proven champion for expanding health care access and has been a steadfast ally of the HIV community throughout his career in public service.
Especially with the recent passage of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, it is essential that the funds for the public health workforce be devoted to those who have been an integral part of fighting COVID-19, including Disease Intervention Specialists (DIS). DIS and other health care professionals have been vital to sustaining and expanding the workforce on the frontlines in critical roles like contact tracing and saving countless lives.
We saw first-hand during the COVID-19 pandemic that our nation’s public health infrastructure was unable to handle multiple infectious diseases at the same time. State and local public health departments have been underfunded and short-staffed for decades and now is the time to correct those inadequacies. We must build a strong public health infrastructure capable of responding to both acute and chronic threats to the health care of the U.S. Investing in DIS will be a major step towards accomplishing that goal and we look forward to working with Secretary Becerra on that and more in the months and years ahead,” said David C. Harvey, executive director of NCSD.
The National Coalition of STD Directors is a national public health membership organization representing health department STD directors, their support staff, and community-based partners across 50 states, seven large cities, and eight US territories. Our mission is to advance effective STD prevention programs and services across the country. NCSD does this as the voice of our membership. We provide leadership, build capacity, convene partners, and advocate. Go to ncsddc.org for more information.