Even as the country debates the integrity of our recent presidential election, presumptive president-elect Joe Biden has begun selecting the men and women with whom he will surround himself. Of particular interest are those he has chosen for top U.S. health positions, leaving many Americans leary of an attempt to traffic in progressive politics under the guise of healthcare concerns.
Xavier Becerra -- Secretary of Health and Human Services
If confirmed, he would head up the Health and Human Services department, meaning that he would oversee various agencies that guide Americans on medical issues, including coronavirus, vaccine approval, etc.
Rather than a background in health, Becerra comes from the legal field and is the current California attorney general. His connection to healthcare is based in large part on his record of defending Obamacare against changes to the policy from the Trump administration, as well as his advocacy for abortion.
National Right to Life president Carol Tobias has described Becerra as "an abortion activist, plain and simple."
NARAL Pro-Choice America president Ilyse Hogue called Biden's selection of Becerra "Huge!"
He has a history of fighting pro-life legislation including the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 1995.
Vivek H. Murthy to be surgeon general
Murthy served as Obama's surgeon general, but he is also a co-founder of Doctors for America, a nonprofit group that encourages doctors to actively advocate for universal healthcare programs and other progressive causes.
The group's focus issues also include "Womxn's Health," which of course are health issues that pertain specifically to "those who identify as womxn, including cis, trans, and gender non-conforming." If you're curious as to how you can help Doctors for America improve Womxn's health, the group's website encourages you to simply "Ask your local Planned Parenthood how you can get involved."
Murthy's group also advocates for the creation of a "National Bureau for Firearm Injury Prevention," and supports swaths of gun control efforts including the banning of high-capacity magazines and silencers, as well as putting pressure on private businesses to ban guns in their stores.
In May, the group also called for the release of illegal immigrants from detention centers as the supposed appropriate medical response to COVID-19.
Jeffrey Zients -- Coordinator of the COVID-19 Response and Counselor to the President
Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith -- COVID-19 Equity Task Force Chair
Nunez-Smith’s entire career seems to be centered on blurring the lines between racial issues and medical issues. Most recently, she claimed that the issue of race is one that should be a main focus in the fight against COVID-19.
She has directed many efforts surrounding medical “equity” at Yale, including founding a full 2-year Medical School degree program open only to physicians "committed to improving healthcare access and outcomes for minorities, socio-economically disadvantaged groups, and other vulnerable populations," and focused entirely on "health equity leadership"
Ezekiel Emanuel -- COVID-19 Advisory Board Member
Emanuel is an oncologist and University of Pennsylvania professor. His appointment to the task force is particularly questionable upon observing his stance on issues of medical ethics.
Biden has said that "The advisory board will help shape my approach to managing the surge in reported infections; ensuring vaccines are safe, effective, and distributed efficiently, equitably, and free; and protecting at-risk populations.”
But Emanuel is on record as questioning the value of life for those over the age of 75, including whether or not they are worthy of receiving vaccinations.
He has not only stated that he "hope[s] to die at 75," but also that once he reaches that age “flu shots are out. Certainly, if there were to be a flu pandemic, a younger person who has yet to live a complete life ought to get the vaccine or any antiviral drugs.”
“Living too long is also a loss,” Emanuel wrote in a 2014 op-ed for the Atlantic. “It renders many of us, if not disabled, then faltering and declining, a state that may not be worse than death but is nonetheless deprived. It robs us of our creativity and ability to contribute to work, society, the world. It transforms how people experience us, relate to us, and, most important, remember us. We are no longer remembered as vibrant and engaged but as feeble, ineffectual, even pathetic.”
He claimed that he was "not advocating 75 as the official statistic of a complete, good life in order to save resources, ration health care, or address public-policy issues arising from the increases in life expectancy," but also touted the merits of refusing medical treatment in old age. He also dismissed efforts by elderly individuals to remain healthy in general.
"Americans seem to be obsessed with exercising, doing mental puzzles, consuming various juice and protein concoctions, sticking to strict diets, and popping vitamins and supplements, all in a valiant effort to cheat death and prolong life as long as possible, Emanuel wrote. "This has become so pervasive that it now defines a cultural type: what I call the American immortal."
"I reject this aspiration. I think this manic desperation to endlessly extend life is misguided and potentially destructive. For many reasons, 75 is a pretty good age to aim to stop," he added.