Biden nominates Pa.’s Dr. Rachel Levine for assistant secretary of health

  • Biden nominates Pa.’s Dr. Rachel Levine for assistant secretary of health

Biden nominates Pa.’s Dr. Rachel Levine for assistant secretary of health

U.S. President-elect Joe Biden on Tuesday filled out his health team, announcing Pennsylvania Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine as his choice for assistant U.S. health secretary as his administration takes office this week amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

If approved, Levine would be the first openly transgender senate-confirmed federal official.

The professor of paediatrics and psychiatry at the Penn State College of Medicine has led Pennsylvania's response to the novel coronavirus outbreak as the commonwealth's top health official.

Vice President-elect Kamala Harris followed that by saying, "Dr. Rachel Levine is 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".

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Levine is now the secretary of health in Pennsylvania, where she leads the state's fight against COVID-19.

Levine, who is the secretary of health for Pennsylvania, is now leading the state's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Last June, the AP noted in a separate story that nursing homes and personal care facilities had accounted for nearly 70% of the state's COVID-19 fatalities. "I have no room in my heart for hatred, and frankly I do not have time for intolerance", Levine said in July 2020, in response to continued attacks on her identity.

Levine, a graduate of Harvard College and the Tulane University School of Medicine, completed her training in pediatrics and adolescent medicine at the Mt. Sinai Medical Center in New York City.

"Her nomination is groundbreaking and shows the Biden administration will choose the most qualified individuals to lead our nation regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity", Annise Parker, former Houston mayor and president & CEO of LGBTQ Victory Institute, said in a statement. Pete Buttigieg, who Biden intends to nominate as transportation secretary, will be the first openly gay person to lead a department in the Cabinet. "We need to get the vaccines into arms". With Democrat wins in Georgia in both Senate races earlier in January, Democrats hold exactly half of the seats in the Senate.