Levine served as Secretary of Health in Pennsylvania and led public health in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Biden’s transition team noted that Levin, who was appointed acting health secretary by Governor Tom Wolfe (D) in 2017, has been confirmed three times by the Republican-controlled State Senate to serve as health minister and state general practitioner. .
At the time, she was one of the few transgender employees to serve in elected or appointed positions across the country. If confirmed as Assistant Secretary of Health, Levine will be the highest-ranking transgender official in the US government.
“President-elect Biden has said throughout his campaign that his administration will represent America,”
Under the leadership of Xavier Bessera, Biden’s candidate for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Levine will oversee key health offices and programs in the department, 10 regional health offices nationwide, the Office of the Surgeon General, and the U.S. Public Corps. healthcare.
Last year, when Levin rose to the forefront of Pennsylvania’s leading pandemic response, she came under attack against her gender identity.
In particular, one made headlines and won a scathing rebuke from the governor: A photo of a man sitting in a carnival funeral tank wearing a dress with floral prints and a long blond wig. The man said he was going to see Marilyn Monroe, but organizers of the carnival in Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania, said she looked like Levin.
“Dr. Levine? Thank you. You were a hit and raised a lot of money for local fire companies. Wondering why so many are trying to immerse you? “The Bloomsburg Fair Association wrote in Facebook on July, adding a smiley emoji before deleting the post.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has led to hatred and transphobia in the spotlight through relentless comments and slander against the Minister of Health, Dr. Rachel Levine, who is a highly qualified, valuable and capable member of my administration and Transgender,” a statement said at the time. . “The derogatory incident involving the Bloomsburg Fair is the latest of these heinous actions that have subsequently affected transgender people in the community and nation.”
In 2015, Wolfe first appointed her general practitioner of Pennsylvania, the best physician in the state. Impressed by her background in behavioral and mental health, the state senate voted unanimously to approve her, paying little attention to her gender identity during the confirmation process.
“With very few exceptions, being transgender is not a problem,” she told The Washington Post in 2016, declining to comment on an attack by a former Florida congressman.
But after Levine was promoted to health secretary of Pennsylvania, the coronavirus raised her profile nationwide. As she tried to limit the pandemic with aggressive rules of social distancing, this also made her the subject of more frequent abuses.
In May last year, a radio personality repeatedly misled Levin, calling the health secretary “sir” at least three times as he questioned her about the state’s response to the coronavirus. A commissioner in a town near Pittsburgh said he was “tired of listening to a boy dressed as a woman.” After Pennsylvania ordered its residents to wear masks at any time in public, a city-run Facebook page shared a meme calling her “a man wearing a bra.”