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California AG Xavier Becerra could be 1st Latino to run Health & Human Services

Xavier Becerra
Posted at 1:59 PM, Jan 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-20 21:14:49-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - California Attorney General Xavier Becerra has been President Biden's pick to lead the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. If confirmed to the role, he would mark the first Latino to run to it.

“He definitely has his work cut out for him. This is a very challenging time but I can't think of anyone more qualified to lead us through this time,” said Nancy Maldonado with San Diego’s Chicano Federation. She spoke to ABC10 News on Wednesday about the significance of minority representation in the nation’s top healthcare leadership position. “There's no more better time to have a Latino leading Health and Human Services than in the middle of a pandemic that has had a devastating impact on the Latino community,” she added.

According to the most recent data from San Diego County health officials, the Latino population has been hit the hardest by COVID-19, with 106,409 affected, representing more than 56.9% of total cases with known race or ethnicity.

Maldonado believes that Becerra's role as California's top legal officer has prepared him for this new challenge. “I think that he understands through his work that when we talk about health, we have to talk about things like the affordable and stable housing. We have to talk about a living wage. Those are all things that contribute to health, particularly for the Latino community but really for everybody across the country,” she added.