Biden picks transgender doctor as assistant health secretary

President-elect Joe Biden named Pennsylvania Secretary of Health Rachel Levine as Assistant Secretary of Health at HHS on Tuesday. This makes her the first openly transgender federal civil servant available for approval by the Senate.

Levine is a Harvard and Tulane trained pediatrician and has appeared as the public face of her state’s pandemic. She was also President of the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials. Appointed to her current position by Democratic Governor Tom Wolf in 2017, she has written on the opioid crisis, medical marijuana, adolescent medicine, eating disorders and LGBTQ medicine.

“Dr. Rachel Levine will bring the consistent leadership and expertise to get people through this pandemic – regardless of zip code, race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability – and to meet our nation’s public health needs at this critical moment and beyond, “Biden said in a statement.

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