President-elect Joe Biden has nominated a transgender individual who in the spring admonished a reporter not to “misgender” him to become assistant secretary for health at the Department of Health and Human Services.
If the nomination of Dr. Rachel Levine, who is male but identifies as a woman, is approved, Levine would be the first openly transgender official to be confirmed by the U.S. Senate, according to the Washington Examiner.
Levine is currently Pennsylvania’s secretary of health.
In May, an incident took place in which Levine rebuked a reporter who addressed him as “sir” during a virtual news conference, PennLive reported.
“Please don’t misgender me,” Levine told the reporter, adding that being called a male was “really insulting.”
That incident gained new publicity in August after Jenna Ellis, at the time an adviser to the campaign of President Donald Trump, referred to Levine as male.
This guy is making decisions about your health.https://t.co/gaqGBbXbOC
— Jenna Ellis (@JennaEllisEsq) August 10, 2020
“This guy is making decisions about your health,” Ellis tweeted at the time.
Ellis withstood demands to apologize.
“The truth of biology shows that human beings are created immutably male and female. Yet in our post-truth society, the progressive leftists not only demand that we affirm patently false facts, but also demand we not ‘offend’ people who insist on speaking their lies, otherwise we are called insensitive bigots and required to apologize,” Ellis said at the time in a statement to NBC News. “I won’t apologize.”
Levine did not respond to Ellis, but did offer a comment in response to remarks he called transphobic.
“Our children are watching — they are watching what we do and they are watching how we act,” Levine said. “And to all LGBTQ young people: It is OK to be you, and it is OK to stand up for your rights and your freedoms.”
Biden praised his own nomination as “historic.”
“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 statement.
“She is a historic and deeply qualified choice to help lead our administration’s health efforts.”
Some suggested the nomination is more about identity politics than qualifications.
Amid a deadly pandemic, Biden officials picked on the basis of identity politics.
Trans box checked.https://t.co/p1OtpN3C0L
— Steve Milloy (@JunkScience) January 19, 2021
We all know the real reason why this was done for attention. If the title was “biden hires Samantha” nobody would bat an eye. But when the writer put down “biden hires a transgender” all of a sudden people are “””” interested””””
— ProTayToe (backup alt) (@ProSephTheFox) January 19, 2021
In commenting on the pandemic, Levine said in November that there was no end in sight to rules that demand residents wear masks,” according to PennLive.
“I anticipate we’re going to be wearing masks well into 2021, maybe to the end of 2021,” Levine said.
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