She stated that “with very few exceptions, I am transgender” and declined to comment on an attack made by a former Florida congressman.
After Levine was promoted to Pennsylvania’s health secretary in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, her stature rose across the country and state. She was the victim of frequent abuse as she tried to control the virus using strict social distancing rules.
One particular attack made headlines, and the governor issued a harsh rebuke. The photo showed a man sitting in carnival dunk tanks wearing a floral print dress with a long, blond hairstyle. Although the man claimed he wanted to emulate Marilyn Monroe, carnival organizers in Bloomsburg, Pa. said that he looked like Levine.
Dr. Levine? We are grateful. You were a huge success and raised lots of money for local fire departments. Wonder why so many tried to dunk?
Wolf released a statement that said, “The COVID-19 Pandemic has brought hateful and transphobic comments and slurs to Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine who is a highly skilled and valued member of my Administration and Transgender,” Wolf stated in a statement. “The Bloomsburg Fair incident is the latest in a series of vile acts that have an impact on Transgender people throughout the nation and commonwealth.”
A radio personality misgendered Levine in May. He called the health secretary “sir,” at least three times, while asking her about the state’s coronavirus response. A township commissioner near Pittsburgh stated that he was tired of hearing a man dressed up as a woman. In May, Pennsylvania’s health secretary ordered all residents to wear masks in public. One town ran a Facebook page and shared a meme calling her “a guy who wears bras.”