(CNSNews.com) - "As we work to expand access to affordable healthcare and address the challenges of COVID-19 and future pandemics, we need to address public health crises that are already here, like violence in our communities and climate change," Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra told the Senate Finance Committee on Thursday.
Becerra, in his opening statement, said President Biden's Fiscal Year 2022 budget request for HHS "addresses gun violence by doubling funding for firearm violence prevention research."
Later, Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) asked Becerra, "Do you believe that gun violence is a public health epidemic?"
"Senator, of course," Becerra said. "And I agree with the American Public Health Association that believes it's a public health issue as well."
"As such," said Menendez, "will you commit to ensuring that the CDC funding is used to study gun violence as a public health epidemic?"
"Not only will we commit to that, but we are asking for funding to make sure we can do this well," Becerra said.
According to an HHS summary of President Biden's FY 2022 budget request:
Violence is a serious public health problem. From infants to the elderly, it affects people in all stages of life. Many more survive violence and suffer physical, mental, and or emotional health problems throughout the rest of their lives.
CDC is the nation’s leading authority on violence and injury prevention and is committed to stopping violence before it begins. This includes detecting, understanding, and addressing alarming trends in suicide and substance use disorder, among other issues.
CDC prevents violence and injuries using the same proven public health methods that are used to prevent diseases: defining the problem through surveillance, studying factors that impact risk for injury, designing and evaluating interventions that target these risk factors, and ensuring proven strategies are implemented in communities nationwide.
CDC's goal is to keep people safe where they live, work, play, and learn.
The budget summary says CDC funding will advance "efforts to reduce all forms of violence -- including community violence, gun violence, intimate partner violence, gender-based violence, and sexual violence.
The summary includes the following chart, laying out $100 million in discretionary funding for a new “Community Based Violence Intervention Initiative.”
That includes an extra $12.5 million, for a total of $25 million, to support "firearm injury and mortality prevention research and data collection to identify the most effective ways to prevent firearm related injuries and deaths."
Of course, the most effective way to prevent "gun violence" is to ban guns, which is where the American left is heading.