May 5, 2023 - Health

HHS chief calls gun violence "public health crisis" after Atlanta shooting

Secretary of the Department Of Health And Human Services Xavier Becerra on Capitol Hill on Thursday. Photo: Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra said Thursday "gun violence is tearing the American family apart" as he confirmed a CDC employee died in this week's mass shooting in Atlanta.

Driving the news: Becerra said in a statement that officials were "still trying to process this heart-breaking news" of Wednesday's shooting that killed CDC worker Amy St. Pierre and injured four other women, per The Hill.

A screenshot of a tweet by HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra saying: "Last night, we learned the tragic news that Amy St. Pierre, an HHS colleague at  @CDCgov , was the victim of a senseless shooting in Atlanta. Our hearts go out to her husband, her children & her loved ones. There’s no escaping that gun violence is tearing the American family apart."
Photo: HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra/Twitter
  • "But there is no escaping that gun violence is tearing the American family apart and has become a public health crisis," he added.

By the numbers: There have been 192 mass shootings in 2023 as of early Friday, per the Gun Violence Archive — which defines a mass shooting as a situation in which at least four people are either injured or killed, excluding the shooter.

  • One in five U.S. adults have said they've personally been threatened with a gun and one in six have seen someone being shot, according to a survey published last month.

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