Meet Biden's HHS Watchdog Pick, Who Stoked Trump's Ire

By Adam Lidgett
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Law360 (June 18, 2021, 8:42 PM EDT) -- President Joe Biden on Friday tapped Christi Grimm, the principal deputy inspector general for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Inspector General, to officially lead the watchdog division.

In January 2020, Grimm started taking on the job responsibilities of the inspector general position, the White House said in an announcement.

The White House said that she has held numerous federal government jobs, like senior policy adviser to the principal deputy and inspector general, among other roles.

"She has been a crucial voice in guiding and informing key stakeholders, including those in the executive and legislative branches, on important topics such as oversight of the Unaccompanied Children Program, federal health and human services' response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and the intersection of health care and technology," the White House said.

"Further," it continued, "she is a leading expert in HHS program integrity issues and has authored more than a dozen articles and delivered multiple speeches that have established her at the forefront of developments in the health care arena."

When Grimm was leading the office during the Trump presidency, the office released a report that said hospitals had experienced "severe shortages of [coronavirus] testing supplies" and "widespread shortages" of personal protective equipment, such as masks, gowns and gloves.

But President Donald Trump flatly dismissed the report after it came out in April 2020, saying at the time, "It's just wrong."

Brett Giroir, who was an HHS assistant secretary who oversaw the Trump administration's work on coronavirus testing, also rebuked the HHS OIG at the time.

Grimm has been with the HHS OIG for more than 20 years and has led the oversight of various areas that HHS has authority over, like Medicare, Medicaid, food and drugs, according to the federal government.

Beyond her role as principal deputy inspector general at HHS, she has been chief of staff and deputy inspector general for the Immediate Office, director of policy and programs and senior adviser for program oversight, and senior program analyst at the HHS OIG Office of Evaluation and Inspections, according to the government.

--Additional reporting by Jeff Overley. Editing by Michael Watanabe.

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