Transgender U.S. Public Health Official Breaks Ground in Covid Fight

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Dr. Rachel Levine, who has helped lead the nation’s coronavirus response as President Biden’s assistant secretary for well being and made historical past as the primary overtly transgender federal official confirmed by the Senate, has a brand new title: admiral.

The Department of Health and Human Services introduced Tuesday morning that Dr. Levine has been sworn in as a four-star admiral in the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, which she already leads in her function as assistant secretary.

Admiral Levine is the primary feminine four-star admiral in the historical past of the corps, a uniformed service of greater than 6,000 well being, science and engineering professionals who work in federal businesses and on the entrance traces of well being crises and pure disasters. She can also be the primary overtly transgender particular person to change into a four-star officer in any of the nation’s eight uniformed companies.

As assistant well being secretary, Admiral Levine has a broad portfolio that additionally contains addressing racial disparities in well being and the results of local weather change on well being.

In a quick interview, she mentioned becoming a member of the corps and sporting the uniform of a public well being service officer was “consistent with my thoughts about service” and her want to be a task mannequin and advocate for transgender individuals, particularly transgender youth.

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