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President-elect Joe Biden has chosen a transgender doctor to be his nomination for Assistant Health Secretary.
The move comes just before Biden is sworn into office tomorrow, January 20.
Rachel Levine, Pennsylvania Health Secretary, will become the first openly transgender federal official if she is confirmed by the US Senate. She has served as Pennsylvania’s Health Secretary since 2017.
Discussing Levine’s potential new role, Biden said 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.
He added, ‘She is a historic and deeply qualified choice to help lead our administration’s health efforts.’
Levine is a paediatrician, former Pennsylvania physician general and graduate of Harvard and of Tulane Medical School, as well as being the president of the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials.
According to ABC 7 News, she has previously written about the opioid crisis, medical marijuana, adolescent medicine, eating disorders and LGBTQ medicine.
Biden’s team have reportedly already begun negotiating with members of Congress and want to bring his $1.9 trillion plan to tackle the ongoing health crisis forward.
Part of the plan includes enlisting federal emergency personnel to run mass vaccination centres and providing 100 immunization shots in Biden’s administration’s first 100 days.
Levine joins Biden’s Health and Human Services secretary nominee Xavier Becerra, the first Latino to head the Department of Health and Human Services. He will lead the administration’s coronavirus response as health secretary, The Guardian reports.
Following the news, Biden said in a statement:
This trusted and accomplished team of leaders will bring the highest level of integrity, scientific rigor, and crisis-management experience to one of the toughest challenges America has ever faced.
The President-elect continued, ‘Getting the pandemic under control so that the American people can get back to work, back to their lives, and back to their loved ones.’
As we approach Biden’s inauguration, tensions are rising in the Capitol in the wake of the riot that took place January 6.
Earlier today the FBI warned that QAnon supporters could try and pose as members of the National Guard during the ceremony in a bid to disrupt the proceedings.
The Capitol riot’s aim was to disrupt lawmakers finalising Biden’s win; however, the certification simply took place the following day, January 7, instead.
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