President-elect Joe Biden has nominated Pennsylvania Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine to be his assistant secretary of health, the Associated Press reported on Tuesday.
Levine was appointed to her current role by Governor Tom Wolf in 2017. During her tenure, she has helped the state navigate the opioid crisis, manage a growing medical marijuana industry and lead its response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Levine would be the first transgender federal official to be confirmed by the U.S. Senate.
“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 to the Associated Press. “She is a historic and deeply qualified choice to help lead our administration’s health efforts.”
Levine was not immediately available to comment on the nomination or how her acceptance of the role would impact the Department of Health. This is a developing story.