Dr. Rachel Levine, 63, has change into the primary brazenly transgender official confirmed by the U.S. Senate.
The vote was 52-48 in favor of her affirmation on Wednesday, March 24, 2021.
Levine was beforehand Pennsylvania’s secretary of well being, the place she led the commonwealth’s COVID-19 response. She’s going to now function the assistant secretary of Well being and Human Companies within the Biden Administration.
In an announcement, Levine thanked those that backed her nomination by President Joe Biden and addressed the LGBTQ neighborhood for its unwavering help.
“Solely via your work and advocacy over many many years is my story attainable,” she stated.
“I’m humbled to be the primary transgender particular person to serve in a Senate-confirmed place. As Vice President Harris has stated, I acknowledge that I could be the first, however am heartened by the data that I can’t be the final.”
Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Lehigh, and different Republican lawmakers from Pennsylvania voted towards Levine’s affirmation.
He criticized her for an absence of accountability, transparency, and correct oversight as hundreds of seniors died in nursing houses and long-term care services through the Covid-19 pandemic.
“In Pennsylvania, the pandemic struck seniors in nursing houses disproportionately laborious in comparison with different states. This was due partly to poor choices and oversight by Dr. Levine and the Wolf administration,” Toomey stated in an announcement Wednesday.
“Furthermore, the commonwealth’s prolonged financial lockdown that Dr. Levine advocated for was extreme, arbitrary in nature, and has led to a slower restoration. Whereas I respect Dr. Levine’s service and responsiveness to my workplace over the previous 12 months, she has not earned a promotion to assist lead the U.S. Division of Well being and Human Companies and I can’t help her affirmation.”
Levine started her medical profession as a pediatrician at Mount Sinai Medical Heart in New York, and she or he is a professor on the Penn State Faculty of Drugs, the place she teaches on subjects resembling adolescent medication, consuming problems, and transgender medication. She is a graduate of Harvard Faculty and the Tulane College College of Drugs.
In an announcement in January concerning the nomination, President Biden stated Levine “will deliver the regular management and important experience we have to get folks via this pandemic — irrespective of their ZIP code, race, faith, sexual orientation, gender identification or incapacity — and meet the general public well being wants of our nation on this crucial second and past.”