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Biden nominates Pennsylvania Secretary of Health Rachel Levine as assistant health secretary

Virus Outbreak Transgender Health Official

FILE - In this May 29, 2020, file photo, Pennsylvania Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine, meets with the media at The Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) headquarters in Harrisburg, Pa. As a transgender woman, Levine has been subject to an endless stream of mockery and abuse on social media and elsewhere. (Joe Hermitt/The Patriot-News via AP)

President-elect Joe Biden has nominated Dr. Rachel Levine, the Pennsylvania secretary of health, for assistant health secretary.

If confirmed, Levine will become the first transgender federal official confirmed by the U.S. senate, according to CNN. 

Levine is currently a pediatrics and psychiatry professor at the Penn State College of Medicine. Penn State Health and Penn State College of Medicine released a statement congratulating Levine on the nomination.

According to the statement, Levine helped develop the Division of Adolescent Medicine at Penn State Children’s Hospital and acted as a liaison for LGBT Affairs with Penn State Health's Office of Diversity and Inclusion.

Levine also served as Pennsylvania's physician general in 2015 and assistant health secretary in 2017. She was confirmed as the state's health secretary in 2018 under Governor Tom Wolf.

"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 our country in this critical moment and beyond," Biden said in a statement.

Levine would join other Biden administration nominees who will make history if confirmed.

According to CNN, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, would be the first Latino to lead the Department of Health and Human Services. South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Biden's transportation secretary nominee, would be the first senate-confirmed LGBTQ cabinet secretary.

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