Biden Selects Transgender PA Health Official For HHS Post

PA Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine

Dr. Rachel Levine will serve as the Department of Health and Human Services' assistant secretary of health, following Joe Biden's announcement on Tuesday.

If confirmed, he would be the first transgender official to be ever appointed to the United States Senate. Born Richard Levine, the openly transgender is currently Pennsylvania's Secretary of Health for the Commonwealth. He is in charge of the coronavirus pandemic's local response, Breitbart reported.

Biden praised Levine's essential expertise and steady leadership and said, "She is a historic and deeply qualified choice to help lead our administration's health efforts."

Kamala Harris also called him, "a remarkable public servant with the knowledge and experience to help us contain this pandemic, and protect and improve the health and well-being of the American people," the Associated Press (AP) said.

Breitbart further said that, "Levine served as a controversial public official in Pennsylvania leveling business and restaurant lockdowns and bans and defending them as a critical way to stop the spread of the virus." He was criticized for allowing the return of "stable" coronavirus patients' to nursing homes during pandemic who were then blamed for the spike of the facilities' virus cases.

He was also "called out for moving her own mother out of a nursing home facility despite the department's guidance to admit "stable" patients who had contracted the virus."

He publicly identifies himself as female instead of his biological gender as a male, accusing his critics of transphobia. During a press conference in May, he called out a reporter for addressing him as "sir." He has also complained of "multiple incidents of LGBTQ harassment and specifically transphobia."

"I want to emphasize, that while these individuals think that they are only expressing their displeasure with me, they are, in fact, hurting the thousands of LGBTQ Pennsylvanians who suffer directly from these current demonstrations of harassment. Your actions perpetuate the spirit of intolerance and discrimination against LGBTQ individuals and specifically transgender individuals," Levine said.

He further said, "Our children are watching. They are watching what we do, and they are watching how we act. And to all LGBTQ young people it is okay to be you."

Biden immensely supports the LGBTQ community as proven by his policy initiatives in his campaign website. This includes the "Equality Act" which he promises to be enacted during his first 100 days as President, making it a top legislative priority. Further, Biden vows to ensure its full enforcement across all agencies and federal department.

Biden also plans to reinstate the Title IX regulations which was revoked by Trump early on his term in 2017. The federal law which was implemented during the Obama administration aims to allow transgender students use bathrooms or locker rooms according to their gender identity, The Blaze reported.

According to the AP, Levine is a Harvard and Tulane Medical School graduate. The physician is also the president of the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, and has written on the issues of medical marijuana, eating disorders, adolescent medicine, opioid crisis and LGBTQ medicine.