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‘Sounds Like A Woke Political Agenda’: Biden’s New ‘Office Of Environmental Justice’ Blasted For Wasting Taxpayer Money

   DailyWire.com
US President Joe Biden speaks about the May 2022 Jobs Report from the Rehoboth Beach Convention Center on June 3, 2022, in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.
(MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)

President Joe Biden’s Department of Health and Human Services recently created “The Office of Environmental Justice,” but critics are slamming the office for wasting taxpayer dollars and pushing “a woke political agenda” rather than focusing on more pressing issues.

On Monday, HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra announced that the Biden administration established the office because “many communities across our nation – particularly low-income communities and communities of color – continue to bear the brunt of pollution from industrial development, poor land use decisions, transportation, and trade corridors.” Yet, Jack Kalavritinos, a former senior HHS official, told The Daily Wire that the office is a bit redundant.

“How is it a good idea to transfer staff from other key divisions into a yet unfunded office?” Kalavritinos told The Daily Wire. “Especially when there are so many core missions that need addressing such as the youth mental health and substance abuse crises exacerbated by the draconian Covid shutdowns.”

There is data backing up Kalavritinos’ concern for mental health.

In April 2022, The Daily Wire reported that “one batch of data released from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — the main federal entity that charted America’s approach to lockdowns — revealed that the number of emergency room visits for suspected suicide attempts rose by 51% from February 21-March 21, 2021 among girls age 12-17 compared to the same stretch of time in 2019.”

“This increase came in the aftermath of strict lockdowns and an overall increase in the number of emergency room visits connected to mental health reasons in 2020,” The Daily Wire noted.

“Sounds like a woke political agenda versus smart evidence/based public health,” Kalavritinos added.

Kalavritinos also pointed out that there are “plenty of offices that address public health for the underserved at HHS.”

Those are offices like Public Health Service, Office of the Assitant Secretary of Health, The Office of Minority Affairs, The Indian Health Services, and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

“No need to create another office by shifting staff from other offices in order to get a positive reaction from the extreme environmental activists,” Kalavritinos added.

Similarly, The Department of Justice also recently created an “Office of Environmental Justice.” That office will “serve as a ‘central hub’ for the department’s efforts to advance its ‘comprehensive environmental justice enforcement strategy,'” Fox News noted.

“Although violations of our environmental laws can happen anywhere, communities of color, indigenous communities, and low-income communities often bear the brunt of the harm caused by environmental crime, pollution, and climate change,” Attorney General Merrick Garland said at the time. “For far too long, these communities have faced barriers to accessing the justice they deserve. The Office of Environmental Justice will serve as the central hub for our efforts to advance our comprehensive environmental justice enforcement strategy. We will prioritize the cases that will have the greatest impact on the communities most overburdened by environmental harm.”

Kalavritinos was not alone in his concern that Biden’s HHS is focusing on the wrong priorities.

Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) also slammed the administration for not paying more attention to the brewing baby formula shortage crisis while they were building the new environmental justice office.

“It’s no coincidence that Biden’s HHS caused a national formula shortage as it was developing an ‘Environmental Justice’ office,” Cotton tweeted. “When HHS spends its resources pursuing extreme leftist policies, it fails to achieve the mission of enhancing the health and well-being of Americans.”

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