Ben Carson. (Steve Marcus/Las Vegas Sun via Reuters)

Ben Carson, President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee to run the Department of Housing and Urban Development, has faced criticism from Democrats who ask whether he has the experience for the job. In his prepared remarks to the Senate Banking Committee on Thursday, Carson was supposed to say that his background had informed him on the “strong connection between housing and health,” and cite the problem of lead exposure for young children.

Deteriorating paint in older homes is the primary source of lead exposure for children, who ingest paint chips and inhale lead-contaminated dust. Between 1998 and 2000, a quarter of the nation’s housing — 24 million homes — was estimated to have significant lead-based paint hazards.

Substandard housing conditions such as water leaks, poor ventilation, dirty carpets and pest infestation can lead to an increase in mold, mites and other allergens associated with poor health. Indoor allergens and damp housing conditions play an important role in the development and exacerbation of respiratory conditions including asthma, which currently affects over 20 million Americans and is the most common chronic disease among children. Approximately forty percent of diagnosed asthma among children is believed to be attributable to residential exposures. In 2004, the cost of preventable hospitalizations for asthma was $1.4 billion, a 30 percent increase from 2000.

That text appeared to be lifted word-for-word from “Where We Live Matters for Our Health,” published in 2008 by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Deteriorating paint in older homes is the primary source of lead exposure for children, who ingest paint chips and inhale lead-contaminated dust. Between 1998 and 2000, a quarter of the nation’s housing — 24 million homes — was estimated to have significant lead-based paint hazards.

Substandard housing conditions such as water leaks, poor ventilation, dirty carpets and pest infestation can lead to an increase in mold, mites and other allergens associated with poor health. Indoor allergens and damp housing conditions play an important role in the development and exacerbation of respiratory conditions including asthma, which currently affects over 20 million Americans and is the most common chronic disease among children. Approximately forty percent of diagnosed asthma among children is believed to be attributable to residential exposures. In 2004, the cost of preventable hospitalizations for asthma was $1.4 billion, a 30 percent increase from 2000.

But when he appeared at his confirmation hearing, Carson departed almost completely from the prepared text. His remarks more closely resembled his speeches as a candidate for president, tackling everything from how the brain worked to how his experience made him ready to manage large organizations. The dry data from the prepared testimony didn’t get read at all — meaning that Carson didn’t end up reading the lifted paragraphs.

Prepared statements from nomination hearings are typically entered into the congressional record, and according to a Trump transition spokeswoman, the copied text was an error.

“It was a written statement for the record — his oral testimony, as I am sure you’ve heard, is extemporaneous and planned that way,” the spokeswoman said. “The original written statement was sourced with hyperlinks and footnotes, but unfortunately that seems to have fallen off.”

As given to reporters at the hearing, the prepared text had no indication that the two paragraphs had come from another source.