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President-elect Joe Biden has tapped Pennsylvania Health Secretary Rachel Levine as his nominee for assistant secretary of health – and she’d be the first openly transgender federal official to be confirmed by the US Senate.
“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 in a statement.
“She is a historic and deeply qualified choice to help lead our administration’s health efforts,” he added about the pediatrician and former Pennsylvania physician general.
A graduate of Harvard and of Tulane Medical School, Levine is president of the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials.
She was appointed to her current post by Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf in 2017, making her one of the few transgender people serving in elected or appointed positions in the US.
She won past confirmation by the GOP-majority Pennsylvania Senate and has emerged as the public face of the state’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Levine joins Biden’s Health and Human Services secretary nominee Xavier Becerra, a Latino politician who served as California’s attorney general.
With Post wires
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