September 20, 2018 Press Release

Equity Forward Responds:  Washington Post Article Highlights Sec. Azar’s Failure of Leadership During Child Separation Crisis

09.20.18 — Earlier today the The Washington Post ran a profile of HHS Chief Alex Azar, with particular emphasis on his role in the family separation crisis.  Specifically, The Post reported that it took Azar two days to create a process to reunite families after the “zero tolerance” policy ended, further reiterating that there was simply no plan in place to return the children taken from their families.

In response, Mary Alice Carter, Executive Director of Equity Forward released the following statement:

“Secretary Azar’s admission that no plan was in place to reunify children separated from their parents until two days after the policy ended is stunning. It only further highlights Azar’s failed leadership of the agency responsible for the children who were ripped from their families during this man-made humanitarian crisis.

“With hundreds of children still in HHS custody and at risk of being permanently orphaned, whatever plan Azar eventually created was and remains wholly inadequate.  It’s time for Congress to act to hold Azar and HHS accountable and solve this manufactured disaster.”

The Post also notes that while the crisis worsened, Azar continued to spend time pushing pet projects and other priorities instead of focusing on the wellbeing of those in his care.

Equity Forward continues to work to hold Azar accountable as part of “HHS Watch,” a project to promote transparency and accountability at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).