(Photo Credits: governortomwolf, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons)
President-elect Joe Biden has nominated Dr. Rachel Levine as Assistant Secretary for Health at the United States Department of Health and Human Services this Tuesday. If confirmed by the U.S. Senate, Dr. Levine will make history as the first out transgender person and the highest-ranking one at that, to ever serve in the federal government.
Dr. Levine—who reportedly completed her training in Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine at the Mt. Sinai Medical Center in New York City—is a Harvard College alumna and is a graduate of the Tulane University School of Medicine.
Read the announcement of her nomination made by the Harris-Biden transition team in full here.
I look forward to the opportunity to continue to serve Pennsylvanians, and all Americans, as part of the Biden Administration if I am fortunate enough to be confirmed to this position. Read my full statement: https://t.co/KZNUgnh44x— Dr. Rachel Levine (@SecretaryLevine) January 19, 2021
“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,” Biden said of Dr. Rachel Levine in a statement. “She is a historic and deeply qualified choice to help lead our administration’s health efforts.”
Vice President-elect Kamala Harris on the other hand, said, “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. President-elect Biden and I look forward to working with her to meet the unprecedented challenges facing Americans and rebuild our country in a way that lifts everyone up.”
Dr. Levine is currently Pennsylvania’s Department of Health Secretary, a position she has held since being appointed to the post in 2017 by Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf. She is also a Professor of Pediatrics and Psychiatry at the Penn State College of Medicine and the President of the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO). Dr. Levine is reportedly a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine, and the Academy for Eating Disorders as well.
Meanwhile, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf thanked Dr. Levine for her commitment, her example, and her legacy in a statement, read it here. Gov. Tom Wolf described Dr. Levine as “instrumental in establishing the state’s medical marijuana program, bringing national awareness to opioid use disorder, and highlighting and promoting the need for adequate medical care and access for the LGBTQ community.” He added, “Over the past year, her steady hand and calm approach were critical to managing Pennsylvania’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Congrats to @PAHealthDept @SecretaryLevine.— Governor Tom Wolf (@GovernorTomWolf) January 19, 2021
Dr. Levine has been a wise, calm, and dedicated partner during this pandemic and I couldn’t be prouder of the tireless work she’s done to serve Pennsylvanians.
She will be missed, but I know she will be a tremendous leader at @HHSGov. https://t.co/OPyOzskDWw
President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris’s inauguration is currently underway in Washington, DC. Apart from Dr. Rachel Levine, the Biden-Harris administration has so far nominated the ‘most diverse’ Cabinet in US history having appointed women, Muslim, Black, Latino, Asian, and LGBTQ people.
Biden chose five Black people as members of his Cabinet namely:
- Lloyd Austin who was named Defense Secretary and is said to be the first Black person to lead the Pentagon;
- Ohio Rep. Marcia Fudge, incoming HUD secretary;
- Michael Regan was named EPA Administrator, he will be the first Black man to head the aforementioned department;
- Cecilia Rouse, incoming chair of the Council of Economic Advisers, she is set to be the first Black person to hold the position;
- Linda Thomas-Greenfield was named U.N. Ambassador.
In addition, Biden nominated at least 20 Indian-American, 13 of which are reportedly women. Biden also named Arab-American Reema Dodin as Deputy Director of the White House Office of Legislative Affairs. She will be the first Palestinian-American Muslim woman to serve as a senior member of the White House staff. Read more about this here.
Congratulations to Kashmir-born #AishaShah & @sameerafazili. #SameeraFazili joins @JoeBiden & @KamalaHarris team as Deputy Director of National Economic Council and #AisiaShah joins as a Partnerships Manager in @WhiteHouse digital team. 👏🏽 pic.twitter.com/oMJwU6LEnp— Abdul Basit Khan (@abdulbasitkhan_) January 17, 2021
Excited that my Floor Director, Reema Dodin, will be joining President-elect Biden's Leg Affairs team. She is smart, trusted, & has the respect of members on both sides of the aisle. Reema is just what our new President needs to help him in the Senate. https://t.co/MTvm7M7jxd— Senator Dick Durbin (@SenatorDurbin) November 24, 2020
Further, Biden nominated six Latino people as members of his Cabinet and members of his White House Staff:
- Xavier Becerra, for Secretary of Health and Human Services; the first Latino to lead HHS
- Miguel Cardona for Secretary of Education;
- Alejandro Mayorkas for Secretary of Homeland Security; the first Latino to lead the department;
- Isabel Guzman as the Small Business Administrator;
- Julie Chávez Rodriguez as the director of the Office of Intergovernmental Relations;
- Adrian Saenz as the deputy director of the Office of Public Engagement.
Moreover, Biden nominated the following LGBTQ people in addition to Dr. Levine:
- Pete Buttigieg as Transportation Secretary, he could become the first openly gay Cabinet member if confirmed;
- Karine Jean-Pierre as deputy press secretary; Jean-Pierre is openly lesbian and chief of staff for Vice President-elect Kamala Harris;
- Pili Tobar as deputy White House communications director; she is an out lesbian immigration rights advocate and former aide to Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.;
- Carlos Elizondo was named White House social secretary; he is openly gay and was Biden’s social secretary during the Obama administration.
Pete Buttigieg has been announced as Biden's secretary of transportation. If confirmed, he'd be the first openly gay person to serve as a Cabinet secretary. pic.twitter.com/VyEWpAddsL— Vox (@voxdotcom) December 16, 2020
If you’ll recall, Dr. Levine was partially responsible for the deaths of many seniors unfortunate enough to reside in nursing homes. She ordered nursing homes to house Covid-19 patients alongside other patients. Before she gave the order she did have the foresight to take her own mother out of a care facility, and put her in a hotel. She is a hypocrite and should be barred from practicing medicine in any capacity.
I think when covid hit us, nobody knew what to do. I dont think she is to blame. Same happened here in Canada. We’re in this all together, and people are trying their best.
Exactly! I was schocked but not surprised…Biden is putting identity politics in front of qualifictions..I predict the Biden years will be filled with controversy problems and a huge mess…I think in about a year the republicans and some democrats will be calling for his resignation.
cant be worse than the orange man….
Agree. Imagine if Hillary had won and became president in 2016. Look at all the lives that would have been saved from this mismanaged pandemic…….
BOris from Britian also got covid and Britian is the leading nation in Europe for covid..yet no one is blaming him…Brazil is the leading country in South america and his wife has it…yet no one is blaming him..reason…it wasnt an election year..this is why the World hates Americans cause we are awful and lie in the name of politics. disgusting
Britain is the leading nation? Do you watch the news? It’s one of the worst!
40,000 cases daily…
If the person(s) are qualified, more power to them. Happy days are here again. Refreshing to have a real President in the white house. Inclusiveness is really what makes America great not everything Lilly white. The last four years as been a disaster. We witnessed the worst President in America history. The LGBTQ community is lucky to survive such discrimination. I hope before they respond that they remember that Trump was AGAINST them simply because of who they are. Your whiteness meant NOTHING him!!!
Looks like he’s off to a good start!!!!!
I’m all for inclusive diversity. But the published statistics that keep popping out are mere numbers, they don’t truly reference the people. Hypothetically, if space aliens made up 1.3% of the population then why do we need 16% of the cabinet to be space aliens to represent diversity? Wouldn’t in reality the 1.3% factor represent true diversity by accurately reflecting the population? It begs the question are they the best qualified for the job or are they simply the best qualified based on their gender and their race orvtheir religious affiliation their sexual inclination or rather they are right-handed or… Read more »
Wow, you really don’t get it. I’ll make it short and right to the point. If a certain group of people is excluded from a certain position from the start because of their race, gender, sexual orientation, etc. Its impossible to get the best qualified person for the job because you don’t know the others qualifications.
I’m really glad you think that makes sense.