Dr Rachel Levine, a trans woman who currently serves as Pennsylvania’s top health official, has been selected by newly elected US president – Joe Biden – to become his assistant health secretary. According to The Washington Post, Levine will become the first out transgender federal official to be confirmed by the US senate. She is known for leading Pennsylvania’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Biden praised Levine’s abilities in a statement: “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.”
Mara Keisling, the executive director of the National Centre for Transgender Equality, said Levine’s nomination demonstrates Biden’s dedication to building a diverse cabinet which represents all US citizens: “President-elect Biden said throughout his campaign that his administration would represent America. Today, he made clear that transgender people are an important part of our country.”