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California Attorney General Xavier Becerra. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Biden said Monday he'll nominate California Attorney General Xavier Becerra to be Health and Human Services secretary and announced several other health-related picks too.

Why it matters: Biden's campaign envisioned a substantial role for HHS in addressing the public health effects of global warming and pollution.

  • .Biden's campaign platform vowed to launch an "Office of Climate Change and Health Equity" at HHS.
  • It also calls for an HHS-led task force to "decrease risk of climate change to children, the elderly, people with disabilities, and the vulnerable."

What's new: The climate group Evergreen Action, which backs those proposals, last night also floated other ideas for how HHS under Becerra can play a "critical role in the national climate mobilization."

  • Their ideas include finding ways to "[s]trengthen the resilience of healthcare systems and supply chains in the face of climate impacts, including worsening disasters."
  • Another would be to prioritize National Institutes of Health grant funding for "research on the intersections of public health and climate change."

Go deeper: Here's who else is on Biden's health team

Go deeper

Federal watchdog finds lack of data, resources impede COVID response

A patient rests in a COVID-19 care site in a parking garage at Renown Regional Medical Center, Reno, Nevada, on Dec. 16. Photo: Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images

National data on COVID-19 testing is incomplete, "critical gaps in the medical supply chain" remain, and a lack of data has stalled delivering key resources to people who need it most, a nonpartisan federal watchdog, the Government Accountability Office (GAO), has found.

Why it matters: The findings come as the rise of more contagious variants ensures that Americans’ risk remains high, despite a three-week decline in the number of COVID infections in the U.S. A greater number of people are also dying from the coronavirus over less time.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Jan 27, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Biden to sign major climate orders, setting up clash with oil industry

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

President Biden will sign new executive actions today that provide the clearest signs yet of his climate plans — elevating the issue to a national security priority and kicking off an intense battle with the oil industry.

Driving the news: One move will freeze issuance of new oil-and-gas leases on public lands and waters "to the extent possible," per a White House summary.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Jan 28, 2021 - Energy & Environment

Takeaways from Biden's sweeping order on climate change

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

President Biden's mammoth executive order on climate policy weighs in at over 7,500 words and resists any single narrative, but I've got a few initial takeaways.

Why it matters: The order aims to marshal the entire federal government behind new initiatives, so that means agencies that may not have the muscle memory or expertise of the resource and environmental branches like EPA and DOE.

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