Over 350 LGBTQ+ advocates and medical professionals have praised newly elected US health secretary, Dr Rachel Levine, in an open letter to Joe Biden which urges him to confirm her appointment as soon as possible. Levine is a trans woman who currently serves as Pennsylvania’s top health official, and now groups including Lambda Legal, GLAAD, the National LGBTQ Task Force and The Trevor Project have openly expressed their support for her.
According to Washington Latest, the letter reads: “As Secretary of Health for the 6th most populous state in the country, Dr. Levine routinely works with the Assistant Secretary of Health’s office to build critical bridges between federal and state policies on the pandemic and more. To have a former state Secretary of Health in the ASH position in the coming months, when there is an urgent need for closer alliance between federal and state pandemic policies, will be invaluable.”
The letter concludes: “We are confident that Dr. Levine is the best possible candidate to serve as Assistant Secretary for Health in this time of extraordinary demands on our public health system. We strongly urge you to confirm this appointment.” Biden also spoke highly of Levine, saying she is “deeply qualified” to help tackle the Covid-19 pandemic: “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.”