The head of the Department of Health and Human Services tapped a 37-year-old former dog breeder with no public health experience to lead the government’s “day-to-day” response to the coronavirus to disastrous effect, Reuters reports. HHS Secretary Alex Azar chose Brian Harrison, who from 2012 to 2018 ran a company called Dallas Labradoodles that sold mixed dog breeds, to be his chief of staff in 2019 and later promoted him to coordinate the nation’s coronavirus task force. White House staff reportedly called Harrison “the dog breeder” behind his back. When convening the task force, Harrison initially excluded the Food and Drug Administration, leaving the White House in the dark on problems with coronavirus testing, likely exacerbating the government’s testing failures, according to Reuters. Vice President Mike Pence took over the task force in February. President Trump has voiced his displeasure with Azar on Twitter, tweeting “@SecAzar told me nothing until later” on April 12.
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