Joe Biden, the President-elect, announced Tuesday that Rachel Levine, Pennsylvania’s top health official will be his assistant secretary for health. Levine, a pediatrician would be the first transgender federal official to receive U.S. Senate confirmation.
Dr. Biden stated that Rachel Levine will provide the essential leadership and expertise needed to help people get through this pandemic, regardless of their zip code, race or religion. This will allow them to meet the nation’s public health needs in this crucial moment and beyond. She is an historic and highly qualified choice to lead our health efforts.
Levine, Pennsylvania’s secretary for health, rose to national prominence because she led the state’s response to the coronavirus epidemic. Despite being repeatedly attacked on her gender identity,
Biden’s transition team pointed out that Levine, who was appointed by Gov. The Republican-controlled state Senate confirmed Tom Wolf (D), who was appointed in 2017 to act as acting health secretary. She was one of a few transgender people who had been elected or appointed to national offices at the time.
Levine, if confirmed as assistant secretary for health, would be the highest ranking transgender official in America’s government.
Mara Keisling (executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality) stated that President-elect Biden had repeatedly said during his campaign that his administration would represent America. “Today, he made it clear that transgender persons are an important part our country,” said Mara Keisling, the executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality.
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