WASHINGTON—U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), a member of the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pension Committee, on Wednesday met virtually with President-elect Joe Biden's nominee to be Secretary of Health and Human Services, Xavier Becerra. The two discussed the importance of a coordinated, science-driven approach to tackling COVID-19. They also spoke about the need to protect and expand the Affordable Care Act, improve access to mental health services, and strengthen U.S. engagement as a leader on global health.

“I’ve known Xavier Becerra a long time and I can’t think of a better person to lead HHS during this critical moment,” said Murphy. “Xavier has been one of the leading defenders of the Affordable Care Act, and I know he is committed to helping make sure that everyone in this country has access to health care they can afford. He is a principled leader who knows how to build consensus and bring people together. That is going to be absolutely vital as we make our way out of the COVID-19 pandemic and navigate a nationwide vaccination program.”

Murphy continued: “Xavier and I also talked about how we can address some of the longstanding issues in our health system that COVID-19 has brought to the forefront – access to comprehensive health coverage options and the serious barriers people face when seeking mental health treatment. I look forward to working with him and the Biden administration to tackle these issues.”