Biden picks Levine, openly transgender woman, for health post; if confirmed, she would make history

WASHINGTON — Pennsylvania Health Secretary Rachel Levine, who is openly transgender, has been nominated to become assistant secretary of health under President-elect Joe Biden’s administration, The Associated Press is reporting.

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With the nomination, Levine, who has served in her current position since 2017, could soon make history: If confirmed, she would become the first openly transgender person to receive U.S. Senate confirmation for a federal post, according to the AP.

In a statement, Biden called Levine a “deeply qualified choice” for the job, the AP reported.

“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,” the statement read.

Levine, who graduated from Harvard University and Tulane Medical School, is a pediatrician and formerly served as Pennsylvania’s physician general, according to the AP.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.