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Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Meet the new guy picked to lead the federal pandemic response

The Best People, Also Labradoodles

brian_med_index-1.jpgWe take heart in the consistently crackerjack team leading us in this unprecedented health crisis.

There’s the mad king who just fired a leading doctor for arguing against the king's fave quack theories to the sycophantic anti-science zealot who dutifully insists the coronavirus is almost behind us.

Now there’s the racist wacko newly appointed HHS spokesman to one Brian Harrison, a former Texas dog breeder with no public health experience,

It turns out Harrison was tapped by Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar to run the federal pandemic task force, which maybe helps explain the disastrous, multi-faceted, weeks-long delays and blunders that experts say could have prevented 90% of this country's early COVID-19 deaths.
Photo from Dallas Labradoodles website

Azar himself belongs right up there on the list of murderous dolts not yet held accountable.

As head of the massive HHS and its $1.3-trillion-budget, Azar, a Republican lawyer and former Big Pharma lobbyist who clerked for the right-wing Antonin Scalia and hangs out with blackout drunk Brett Kavanaugh, is tasked with overseeing almost every federal public health agency, including the key Center for Disease Control and Food and Drug Administration.

But Azar botched it from the start:

He downplayed the virus - it's "potentially serious" but "we have a playbook for it" - fatally delayed testing, finally came up with a test that didn't work, and wasted almost six critical weeks producing one that did; created a medical equipment shortage that watchdogs say “put staff and patients at risk”; and promised Congress a virus surveillance program that failed to materialize.

According to a surreal new Reuters report, he also appointed as main coordinator for the government's response to the worst health crisis in a century...Mr. Labradoodle.

Harrison, 37, has no formal education in public health, management, or medicine. In 2006, age 24, he became a "Confidential Assistant" to then-deputy secretary Azar.

He also worked briefly for Dick Cheney, the Department of Defense and a Washington PR company.
From 2012 to 2018, he ran Dallas Labradoodles in Waxahachie, TX, a "boutique, home-based breeder" of Multigenerational Australian Labradoodles, which sells puppies for $2,700 plus tax per pop/pup. He sold the company in 2018

Its current owners explain that, "Because of some life changes" - Look! We're governmenting! - "the Harrisons had to move to the east coast."

At HHS, Harrison was initially Azar's deputy chief of staff.

In 2019, he replaced chief of staff Peter Urbanowicz, a longtime hospital executive with decades of experience in public health. The move reportedly dismayed many public health officials, who often derisively, entirely understandably called him "the dog breeder."

In his baffling new job, officials said Harrison took multiple, questionable steps, including sidelining key agencies that could and should have played key roles in managing the virus, most vitally the FDA.

Rather than share information, six current and former government officials charge, “Everyone had to report up through him...It was a mess."

“It’s Azar’s operation,” said Lynn Goldman, a public health expert and former FDA and CDC advisor. “The buck stops there.”

Harrison has defended his background of being a small-town dog breeder as perfect experience for managing a global pandemic.

Though he cited no inaccuracy in the Reuters story, he blasted the effort to "use that experience to attack (me) and distort the record."

On social media, others praised the ever-impressive ability of Trump and his minions to scrape the bottom of the governmental barrel; in this case, some marveled he actually found someone less qualified for his job than Jared. 

And bonus: If you need Labradoodle advice, you know where to turn.