PRESIDENT-elect Joe Biden has made Pennsylvania Health Secretary Rachel Levine to be his assistant secretary of health.
“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.”
A graduate of Harvard and of Tulane Medical School, Levine is president of the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials. She’s written in the past on the opioid crisis, medical marijuana, adolescent medicine, eating disorders and LGBTQ medicine.
“Her nomination is groundbreaking and shows the Biden administration will choose the most qualified individuals to lead our nation regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity,” Annise Parker, former Houston mayor and president & CEO of LGBTQ Victory Institute, said in a statement. “Dr. Levine is making history and will transform Americans’ perceptions of trans people when she takes office and begins to work on their behalf.”
Biden also says that, in one of his first acts as president, he’ll ask Americans to wear masks for 100 days to slow the virus’ spread.
Vice President-elect Kamala Harris called Levine “a remarkable public servant with the knowledge and experience to help us contain this pandemic, and protect and improve the health and well-being of the American people.”
The government’s top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, will also work closely with the Biden administration.
Additional Reporting by ABC News