Biden selects transgender doctor Rachel Levine as assistant health secretary!

Levine, who will be serving under Xavier Becerra (Biden’s nominee for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services), would oversee key health programs and offices across the department, the 10 regional health offices throughout the country, the Office of the Surgeon General and the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps.

Levine released a statement Tuesday afternoon expressing pride in the work that she had been able accomplish at Pennsylvania Department of Health. Levine spoke out about her efforts to combat the opioid crisis by creating “innovative models that get people into treatment and into rehabilitation” and the work of her team in fighting diseases like HIV and Hepatitis.

She said, “I am proud about the work we have done in an administration to address and the work I have done personally for awareness on LGBTQ equity issues.” “And I am very proud of the work that we did during the past year to save lives in the wake of the COVID-19 global epidemic. If I’m confirmed, I look forward to continuing to serve Pennsylvanians and all Americans as part of the Biden Administration.

After an election season that saw a record number LGBTQ candidates run for office, but also after four years of a presidential presidency that has repeatedly removed protections for transgender persons — in health care and federal employment as well as in housing services that receive federal funding.
Biden signaled a shift in Trump’s approach to transgender inclusion. In his presidential acceptance speech, Biden mentioned transgender individuals and published a long platform that detailed his plans to prioritize LGBTQ rights. Biden also appointed to his transition team Shawn Skelly as a former special assistant of the undersecretary for defense for acquisition technology and logistics and coordinator of Defense Department Warfighter Senior Integration Group. Skelly was the first transgender veteran to have been appointed by a U.S. President.