USA Today Names Biden Transgender U.S. Health Official Rachel Levine a ‘Woman of the Year’

USA Today named transgender Assistant Secretary for Health and Human Services Dr. Rachel (born Richard) Levine as a “Woman of the Year” Sunday.

In October, the pediatrician and former Pennsylvania health secretary became the nation’s highest-ranking transgender official in the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps when Levine was sworn in as an admiral.

The Biden administration and many in the media also consider Levine to be the “first woman” four-star admiral in the commissioned corps, though Levine is actually a man.

The Keystone, a Pennsylvania news outlet that self-describes as being “for Pennsylvania women and the people who love and support them,” reported:

Levine now serves as the highest ranking official in the USPHS Commissioned Corps and is the first woman to achieve the rank of four-star admiral in the corps. She will lead more than 6,000 public health service officers who respond to health crises on behalf of the federal government.

“I really feel that everything I’ve ever done, whether it was in academic medicine, in education, in clinical research, seeing my patients in my role in public health, in Pennsylvania and now my role nationally,” Levine told USA Today, “has all led to this moment in terms of helping the nation through this greatest public health crisis that we have faced in over a hundred years.”

In addition to the pandemic, Levine said a major focus has been the difficulties women and girls face concerning their body image. Levine said:

We need to be welcoming and celebratory for women of all aspects, of all sizes and shapes. And we have to work towards that compassion for all women and not put such an emphasis on thinness and appearance. I think that we need to work as a culture in the United States, but also globally, to be more compassionate and more accepting of girls and women, no matter what their size and shape.

Asked by USA Today about Levine’s advice to other transgender individuals, the top health official stated:

I think you have to be true to yourself and I think that you have to be who you are. You have tremendous worth just for who you are, no matter who you love, no matter who you are, no matter what your gender identity, sexual orientation or anything else, and to be, be true to that. And then everything else will follow.

Levine said “diversity” is of paramount importance.

“It’s important for our country, for the world,” Levine said, adding:

And I truly believe that diversity in all of the myriad and wonderful aspects that we see has positive benefits for any organization. Any governmental organization, any business, any school. And so, we really need to welcome diversity and actually celebrate diversity for what it brings to us as a nation and what it brings to us globally.

In August Levine joined with other top officials from the Biden Departments of Justice and Education in a “back-to-school” video address (see below) targeted to young people who claim a gender identity that differs from their biological sex.

In the video, Department of Justice Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division Kristen Clarke addressed transgender students:

In some places, people in positions of authority are putting up obstacles that would keep you from playing on the sports field, accessing the bathroom, and receiving the supportive and life-saving care you may need.

We’re here to say that’s wrong and it’s against the law.

“The Department of Justice is here, along with the Department of Education, to investigate complaints about discrimination or harassment based on sexual orientation or gender identity,” Clarke added. “We want you to know that we are looking out for you, and we’re here to protect your civil rights.”

Levine then warned transgender students that, as they begin school, they will likely encounter “bullying and harassment.”

“It is critical to support trans youth, their parents and families to help them achieve the good health and well-being that everyone deserves,” Levine added.

It is reasonable to presume Levine intended her statement about “good health and well-being” to include transgender hormones and surgeries, if such treatments might deliver a sense of “well-being.”

In February 2021, Senator Rand Paul questioned Levine (video below), who was then Biden’s nominee for Assistant Secretary for Health and Human Services, about the fact that, in 2017, Levine recommended omitting puberty blockers and “accelerating” cross-sex hormones for homeless teens apparently suffering from gender dysphoria while they are estranged from their parents.

During an address titled “It’s a Transgeneration: Issues in Transgender Medicine,” Levine told listeners transgender medical industry professionals who are treating “street” teens should not go through the usual protocol of first delivering puberty blockers to them. Instead, Levine urged them to immediately prescribe cross-sex hormones because these young people have been “essentially thrown out by their parents because of their gender identity and expression.”

“Well, Senator, thank you for your interest in this question,” Levine responded to Paul. “Transgender medicine is a very complex and nuanced field with robust research and standards of care that have been developed. And if I am fortunate enough to be confirmed as the Assistant Secretary of Health, I would look forward to working with you and your office and coming to your office and discussing the particulars of the standards of care for transgender medicine.”

Paul told Levine the nominee had evaded the question and gave the reminder the specific question he asked was about minor children, and about whether Levine supported the government’s intervention to override parental consent for transgender treatments.

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Susan Berry, PhD, is national education editor at The Star News Network. Email tips to [email protected]
Photo “Rachel Levine” by Governor Tom Wolf. CC BY 2.0.

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