Author Archives: Joyce Frieden

About Joyce Frieden

Joyce Frieden is a member of AHCJ's board of directors and oversees MedPage Today's coverage of Washington and health policy.

Becerra needs to open up to the press

Letter to Xavier Becerra

AHCJ is calling on Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra to make himself available for questioning by reporters.

In a letter to Becerra sent Friday, the association urges regular, open press briefings similar to those held by his predecessor.

In his seven months in office, the leader of one of the largest federal departments has kept a low profile, even though the agencies he oversees, which include the CDC, the FDA, the NIH, and Medicare, make decisions affecting the lives of virtually all Americans.

“It’s time for Secretary Becerra to come out of hiding,” said AHCJ President Felice J. Freyer, who signed the letter along with fellow board members Sabriya Rice and Joyce Frieden. “The public deserves to hear from the cabinet member responsible for the programs and policies that affect our health.”

Although Becerra holds press conferences on limited topics when he travels, they are not live-streamed or open to reporters outside of the regions he visits. And he has yet to hold an open-ended press conference, at which reporters can ask him about a variety of topics.

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