Dr. Rachel Levine, Pennsylvania’s secretary of health, is being considered as a potential nominee. Dr. Levine has expertly navigated the coronavirus pandemic in her state.
The Surgeon General is nominated by the president and confirmed by the Senate. If Republicans keep the Senate, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said he will delay or try to kill Biden’s nominations to fill key Cabinet roles – including the Surgeon General.
Dr. Levine has been mocked frequently because she is transgender. Throughout it all though, she has been continually focused on saving lives.
In July, a Pennsylvania tavern apologized for a transphobic menu item designed to taunt Dr. Levine. And around the same time, a popular Pennsylvania fair, the Bloomsburg Fair, used a Dr. Levine “impersonator” (which was a man in a wig and a dress) in their dunk tank and published a mocking Facebook post about it.
Leaders of both the fair and tavern apologized, but Dr. Levine still felt it was important to address the transphobia directly at one of her daily briefings.
“I want to emphasize that while these individuals may think that they are only expressing their displeasure with me, they are in fact hurting the thousands of LGBTQ Pennsylvanians who suffered directly from these current demonstrations of harassment,” she said during her July 28 briefing. “Your actions perpetuate the spirit of intolerance and discrimination against LGBTQ individuals and specifically transgender individuals.”