HHS Opens Office to Deal With Climate Change

HHS Opens Office to Deal With Climate Change HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra speaks to the media during a press conference Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra. (Rich Pedroncelli/AP)

By Jeremy Frankel | Monday, 30 August 2021 08:41 PM

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced Monday it is creating a new office to deal with climate change as a public health threat.

The new office, called the Office of Climate Change and Health Equity, plans to operate around social justice ideology claiming minorities and poor people are disproportionately affected by climate change.

A week after being sworn in, President Joe Biden issued an executive order that included creating this office "to address the impact of climate change on the health of the American people; and establish an Interagency Working Group to decrease risk of climate change to children, the elderly, people with disabilities, and the vulnerable."

The office's mission is to protect vulnerable communities who disproportionately bear the brunt of pollution and climate-driven disasters, such as drought and wildfires, at the expense of public health.

"History will judge us for the actions we take today to protect our world and our health from climate change," HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra wrote in a statement. "The consequences for our inaction are real and worsening. We've always known that health is at the center of climate change, and now we're going to double-down on a necessity: fighting climate change in order to help protect public health in our communities."

Becerra chose National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences senior adviser John Balbus to join HHS to set up the new office, The Wall Street Journal reported.