Dr. Rachel Levine May Be the First Openly Transgender Official Confirmed By Senate
President-elect Joe Biden made a historic selection in nominating Dr. Rachel Levine as assistant secretary of health, she would be the first out transgender federal official to be confirmed by the United States Senate.
In a statement to CNN, Biden said, "Dr. Rachel Levine will bring the steady leadership and essential expertise we need to get people through this pandemic — no matter their zip code, race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability — and meet the public health needs of our country in this critical moment and beyond."
"She is a historic and deeply qualified choice to help lead our administration's health efforts," he said.
Dr. Levine is currently the Pennsylvania health secretary and a pediatrics and psychiatry professor at Penn State College of Medicine. According to her biography on the Pennsylvania state government site, she is also a regional and international speaker, and author on the opioid crisis, medical marijuana, adolescent medicine, eating disorders, and LGBT medicine.
Vice President-elect Kamala Harris called Dr.Levine "a remarkable public servant with the knowledge and experience" to help contain the coronavirus pandemic and "protect and improve the health and well-being of the American people."
Last month, Biden tapped California Attorney General Xavier Becerra to run the Department of Health and Human Services. Becerra would be the first Latino to lead the department if confirmed by the Senate. Biden also nominated Deb Haaland for interior secretary, a move that would make her the first Native American to hold the post.