First openly transgender person, Levine confirmed by US Senate

President Joe Biden’s choice of Rachel Levine to become assistant U.S. health secretary, has been approved by the U.S. Senate on Wednesday, to become the first openly transgender person to be confirmed by the chamber.

In fact, despite strong opposition from Republicans, Levine was confirmed on a vote of 52-48.

As the United States continues its attempts to overcome the pandemic that has killed nearly 545,000 Americans, Levine arrives in Washington after leading the state of Pennsylvania’s response to the coronavirus outbreak. Levine also has served as a professor of pediatrics and psychiatry at Penn State University.

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Republican Senator Rand Paul, during her confirmation hearing, quizzed Levine about her position on transition-related surgeries, as he drew parallels to genital mutilation.

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