Courtesy of Dr. Rachel Levine
Tomorrow, January 20th, President-elect Joe Biden will step into office and begin service as the 46th president of the United States, and he's hopeful to take Dr. Rachel Levine into office with him. Levine, the current Pennsylvania Health Secretary, is Biden's pick to be his assistant secretary of health, and if confirmed by the Senate, Dr. Levine will be the first openly transgender federal official.
"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 January 19th statement, per Politico. "She is a historic and deeply qualified choice to help lead our administration's health efforts."
As CNN reports, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris called Levine "a remarkable public servant with the knowledge and experience" to combat the pandemic and "protect and improve the health and well-being of the American people."
We are committed to ensuring that vaccine is getting to Pennsylvanians as quickly as manufacturers get it to us. Both of these partnerships will help vaccinate most vulnerable residents + people who care for them more quickly so that we can move to other groups in our communities https://t.co/Wk7vcPY2tb
— Dr. Rachel Levine (@SecretaryLevine) January 14, 2021
Levine stepped into her current position in 2017 after being appointed by Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf. She breezed through the Republican-majority Pennsylvania Senate, and has become the spokesperson for Pennsylvania's response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Levine is a pediatrician and former Pennsylvania physician general with degrees from both Harvard and Tulane University School of Medicine and currently serves as the president of the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials. If both are confirmed, she will work alongside Biden's nominee for Health and Human Services secretary, Congressman and California's attorney general Xavier Becerra, who would be the first Latino to lead the department.
Though Biden hasn't yet entered into office, the people he is nominating to surround himself with are making us hopeful for a brighter future for America.