Health care renewal don’t know much about health care and public health, and don’t care much about their missions – but in leadership positions in us government health agencies electricity projects for 4th graders


Barreto (who also goes by the surname Barreto-Rice) was a right-wing pundit who used the screen name ‘RepublicanChick’ on her personal website and social media. She regularly posted commentary on Periscope and briefly co-hosted a YouTube show called The Right View by Deplorable Latinas. She also said she helped Trump’s California efforts during the 2016 election.

As a fringe right-wing political commentator, Ximena Barreto claimed that ‘African-Americans are way more racist than white people,’ labeled Islam ‘a f*** cult’ that has ‘no place’ in the United States,… and attacked the ‘retarded’ 2017 Women’s March.

She continued shortly after: ‘I’ve been attacked by more African-Americans on Twitter than white people, in all honesty. … They’re the most racist people I ever met.’ She then said that she’s been insulted and called slurs by African-Americans.

During her November 30, 2016, Periscope, Barreto said (starts roughly 7:26 into the video) that Islam advocates for ‘killing other people and abusing women; that’s not a religion, that’s a f*** cult. Like, I’m serious. Like, that’s not religion.’ She also said during a June 12 video that Islam is ‘just a cult. All the practices are cult-like, all that they do.’

Barreto has repeatedly pushed the false Pizzagate conspiracy theory that claimed prominent political figures were trafficking children through a Washington, D.C., pizza restaurant. She tweeted in November 2016 that efforts by supporters of former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton to trigger a recount were ‘a hoax so we get distracted from #PizzaGate.’

She appeared in a November 30, 2016, Periscope video in which she also said (starts roughly 1:45 into the video) the presidential recount effort is an attempt to distract people ‘from Pizzagate.’ She later claimed that former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is also tied to Pizzagate. ‘A lot of people are connected to it,’ she remarked.

Near the end of the video, Barreto told viewers: ‘Don’t listen to the recount and relax. We’ve got to use all of our efforts into Pizzagate and not let that one die because that’s what the mainstream media is trying to get distracted from. So check all the Pizzagate stuff.’

So while Ms Barreto was hired in a top communications role for DHHS, which is supposed to improve the health of all Americans, she previously displayed virulent prejudice against African-Americans and Muslims. Also, DHHS is supposed to uphold evidence- and science-based health care, public health and social services, but Ms Barreto has promoted grossly false conspiracy theories.

She seems to be uniquely unqualified for her leadership position in DHHS. In fact, she seems like one of the last people one should consider for such a position. Worse, since she also appears to have no background or experience in communications, public relations, or journalism, it appears that there was no obvious reason to hire her other than her reputation for taking extreme positions on social media.

In the private sector, Shannon worked in several faith-based non-profits. Early on, she led the D.C. office of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC), a group focused on issues such as sex trafficking, global hunger, and protecting religious liberty. Most recently, Shannon served as Chief of Staff and C.O.O. at the Family Research Council (FRC)….

laid out new protections allowing health care workers with religious or moral objections to abortion and other procedures to opt out. Shannon Royce, the agency’s key liaison with religious and grass-roots organizations, has also emerged as a pivotal player.

As we discussed in January, 2018, the OCR is part of an effort officially aimed at protecting doctors, nurses and other health-care workers who decline to participate in care that goes against their moral or religious convictions. At that time we raised the probably naive hope that this would particularly help health professionals who felt pushed to participate in unethical and illegal activities like conflicts of interest, outright crime, such as fraud, bribery or kickbacks, or other criminal or corrupt practices to which they had moral objections. That was not to be.

‘To have leaders like Roger, like Shannon, it’s so important," said Deanna Wallace of Americans United for Life, an anti-abortion group that was frequently at odds with the Obama administration. ‘It’s extremely encouraging to have HHS on our side this time.’

‘You’re over at HHS, a true bright spot in this administration when it comes to protection of life and protection of conscience,’ a moderator at the Evangelicals for Life conference said when introducing Royce last Thursday. ‘It’s no exaggeration to say that you guys have just had a monster year over at HHS.’

Again, note that the purpose of the OCR on paper was to allow health care professionals to avoid being forced to take actions which they found morally objectionable for whatever reasons, not just to cater to people who are against abortion for religious reasons.

We have noted, most recently here, how the current Trump administration has been appointing many people without any qualifications in biomedical science, health care, or public health to leadership positions in health and public health agencies. Obviously health care and health policy decisions made by ill-informed

Worse, it now seems that some ill-informed appointments have more nefarious purposes, including the subversion of the mission of these health related agencies. The group of leaders discussed above seem to be hostile to the notion that health care and public health should serve all people, regardless of their religious beliefs, race, ethnicity, or sex.

Furthermore, they seem to be undermining fundamental principles of US government enshrined in the Constitution, including prohibiting the government from establishing a religion or preventing the free expression of any religion, and equal application of the laws and provision of due process to all people, again regardless of their religious beliefs, race, ethnicity or sex.

We have been writing about health care dysfunction since 2003, and publishing this blog since 2004. A major concern all along has been how threats to health care professionals’ core values generate health care dysfunction. Up through 2016, these threats came principally from large private health care organizations. While the US government was not always as good at defending these values as it could have been, at least it rarely presented its own set of active threats. Under Trump, that situation has been changing for the worse. This is obviously hugely dangerous, (and made more so by the regime’s threats to other core values of US society, to US law, and the US Constitution.)

To prevent the decline and fall of US health care, and maybe the entire US experiment in representative democracy, health care professionals, academics, patients and citizens concerned about health care will have to join up with the larger populace to defend our core values while they still have any force.